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THE  WONDER-WORKER 
OF  PADUA 


BY 


CHARLES  WARREN  STODDARD 


THE  AVE  MARIA 

NOTRE  DAMB,  INDIANA 
U.  S.  A. 


COPYRIGHT,  1896 
BY  D.  E.  HUDSON,  C.  S.  C. 


To  the 

C.  W.  S.  R.  C,   Salem,  Mass., 
with  Aloha. 


293498 


THE  WONDER-WORKER  OF 
PADUA 


PROLOGUE. — THE  FIVE  FRIARS. 

THE  afternoon  shadows  were  length- 
ening under  the  walls  of  the  monas- 
tery of  Santa  Cruz,  a  house  of  the 
Canons  Regular  of  St.  Augustine, 
at  Coimbra.  Life  within  that  holy 
house  stole  on  as  slowly,  as  regu- 
larly, and  for  the  most  part  as 
silently,  as  those  deepening  shadows. 
Each  morning  it  was  renewed  as 
cheerfully  as  broke  the  dawn  upon 
the  waves  that  wash  the  shores  of 
Portugal;  each  noon  it  was  radiant 
with  the  fulness  of  spiritual  joy; 
each  evening  it  hushed  itself  to  rest 
with  prayer  and  praise;  and  these 
three  epochs  in  the  daily  life  of 
the  cloister  were  heralded  by  the 
mellow  peal  of  the  Angelus  as  it 


2  The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

was  wafted  over  the  embosoming 
hills,  and  throbbed  into  silence  in 
far-off,  fainting  echoes. 

Now  and  again  something  oc- 
curred in  the  monastery — something 
slight  in  itself,  but  enough  to  break 
in  upon  the  peaceful  current  of 
events  and  create  an  interest  or 
excitement  that  fairly  startled  the 
gentle  occupants.  There  were  guests 
from  time  to  time — quite  a  number 
of  them;  for  the  worldly  are  ever 
curious  concerning  the  inner  life  of 
those  who  though  in  the  world  are 
not  of  it.  Therefore  there  was  a 
guest-master  at  Santa  Cruz,  as  there 
is  always  a  guest-master  in  every 
monastery;  and  his  office  it  is  to 
receive  those  who  desire  to  see  the 
chapels,  the  relics,  the  cloisters.  It 
is  the  duty  and  the  pleasure  of 
this  guest-master  to  conduct  visitors 
through  the  monastery  and  to  en- 
tertain them;  and  thus  relieve  the 
friars  from  all  distractions,  such  as 
sudden  and  unexpected  calls  from 
prayer  or  labor. 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua          3. 

One  day  at  Santa  Cruz  five 
stranger  guests  arrived — three  priests 
and  two  lay -brothers,  disciples  of 
St.  Francis,  whose  Order  was  then 
but  ten  years  old.  These  friars  had 
been  assigned  to  the  mission  in 
Morocco,  and  were  on  their  way 
thither  when  they  sought  the  hos- 
pitality of  the  Abbey  of  Santa  Cruz, 
Who  shall  say  that  it  was  chance 
alone  that  brought  them  thither? 
They  were  Franciscans.  Not  far 
distant  from  Coimbra,  the  pious 
Queen  of  Portugal  had  established 
the  Convent  of  St.  Anthony  of 
Olivares;  it  was  situated  in  an 
olive  grove,  whence  it  derived  its 
name.  The  house  was  small  and 
poor,  but  it  was  large  enough  to 
shelter  the  five  friars;  and  the 
Brother  Questor,  whose  duty  it  was 
to  ask  alms  for  the  needs  of  the 
brethren,  would  have  gladly  shared 
his  frugal  fare  with  these  apostles 
who  were  on  their  way  to  martyr- 
dom in  Morocco.  But  they  passed 
Olivares  and  sought  the  gates  of 


4  The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

Santa  Cruz,   and  were  there  given 
heartfelt  welcome. 

Was  it  for  this  reason  that,  as 
the  Franciscan  chronicles  tell  us, 
"  Queen  Urraca  sent  for  and  lovingly 
received  the  friars"?  For  indeed 
she  held  their  Order  in  great  esteem, 
and  inquired  many  things  concern- 
ing their  errand,  most  courteously 
offering  to  supply  all  their  wants. 
Not  content  with  the  brief  account 
of  their  General's  intention  which 
they  gave  her,  this  lady,  thirsting 
as  the  hart  for  the  word  of  God, 
engaged  them  in  spiritual  discourse, 
drawing  thence  much  sweetness  and 
consolation;  then,  taking  them 
apart,  she  besought  them,  for  the 
love  of  Him  for  whose  sweet  name 
they  were  going  to  torments  and 
death,  to  beg  of  Almighty  God  to 
reveal  to  them  the  day  on  which 
she  should  die.  And,  albeit  the 
friars  endeavored  by  all  means  to 
escape  her  importunity,  saying  that 
they  were  most  unworthy  to  know 
the  secrets  of  the  Lord,  and  other 


The  Wonder-Worker  of  Padua          5 

words  of  like  import,  yet  did  she 
at  length  prevail  with  them  to  give 
her  that  promise  which  she  craved. 
And  so,  after  fervent  prayer,  they 
again  came  before  the  Queen  and 
bade  her  be  of  good  courage;  for 
that  it  was  the  will  of  God  that  her 
end  should  be  very  shortly,  and 
before  that  of  the  King,  her  husband. 
Moreover,  they  gave  her  a  sure 
sign;  for,  "Know,  lady,"  they  said, 
"that  before  many  days  we  shall 
die  by  the  sword  for  the  faith  of 
Christ.  Praised  be  His  Divine  Maj- 
esty, who  has  chosen  us,  poor  men, 
to  be  in  the  number  of  His  martyrs ! 
Our  bodies  shall  be  brought  into 
this  city  with  great  devotion  by 
the  Christians  of  Morocco,  and  you 
and  your  husband  shall  go  to  meet 
them.  When  these  things  shall  come 
to  pass,  know  that  the  time  is  come 
for  you  to  leave  this  world  and  go 
to  God." 

The  guest-master  of  Santa  Cruz 
was  a  youth  of  four  and  twenty, 
who  was  already  ordained.  He  had  a 


6  The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

marvellously  beautiful  countenance 
and  was  singularly  engaging  in 
manner.  Naturally,  he  was  thrown 
much  in  the  society  of  the  friars, 
and  often  conversed  with  them  of 
the  extraordinary  history  of  Porti- 
uncula  and  of  the  miracles  wrought 
by  their  seraphic  Father,  St.  Francis 
of  Assisi.  Certain  it  is  that  the 
five  friars  perished  in  their  blood 
at  the  hands  of  the  infidels.  Their 
bodies  were  brought  home  in  solemn 
state,  attended  by  various  super- 
natural manifestations  calculated  to 
inspire  reverence  and  awe. 

It  was  the  King's  wish  that  these 
relics  of  the  first  Franciscan  martyrs 
should  rest  in  the  principal  church 
of  the  capital;  but  they  were  mys- 
teriously guided  or  conveyed  to  the 
monastery  of  Santa  Cruz,  where 
they  had  lodged,  and  where  his 
Majesty  had  a  superb  chapel  erected, 
in  which  the  relics  were  reposited. 

Many  marvels  were  witnessed  at 
that  shrine,  and  these  deeply  touched 
the  heart  and  the  spirit  of  the 


The  Wonder-Worker  of  Padua          7 

young  guest-master.  But  a  few 
months  before  he  had  held  converse 
with  these  very  friars,  who  were  then 
joyously  seeking  the  palm  and  the 
crown  of  martyrdom;  now  they 
were  in  paradise,  and  he  was  kneel- 
ing beside  their  holy  dust, — a  poor 
friar  groping  blindly  after  that  light 
that  should  illumine  him  and  make 
clear  his  path  of  life. 

One  day,  kneeling  at  that  tomb, 
his  heart  aflame  with  love  and 
veneration,  from  the  depths  of  his 
soul  he  cried  out:  "O  that  the 
Most  High  would  grant  me  to  be 
associated  with  them  in  their  glorious 
sufferings!  That  to  me  also  it  were 
given  to  be  persecuted  for  the 
faith — to  bare  my  neck  to  the  exe- 
cutioners! Will  that  blessed  day 
ever  dawn  for  thee,  Fernando?  Will 
such  happiness  ever  be  thine?" 
Thus,  through  chaste  communion 
with  the  five  friars — call  it  not 
chance  that  brought  their  hearts 
together, — through  the  sufferings,  by 
the  sacrifice,  and  at  the  tomb  of 


8  The  W onder-W orker  of  Padua 

the  five  martyrs,  did  Fernando  de 
Bouillon  find  his  vocation. 


The  W onder-W orker  of  Padua 


I, 

FERNANDO  THE  NOVICE. 

WHO  was  Fernando  de  Bouillon? 
He  was  the  son  of  Martino  de 
Bouillon,  and  Teresa  Tavera,  his 
wife,  who  were  of  ancient  lineage 
and  noble  birth.  Don  Martino  de- 
scended from  the  illustrious  Godfrey 
de  Bouillon,  who  led  the  first  Cru- 
sade and  was  the  first  Prankish 
King  of  Jerusalem.  He  was  the 
grandson  of  Vincenzo  de  Bouillon, 
who  followed  King  Alfonzo  I.  in 
his  campaign  against  the  Moors, 
and  who,  in  acknowledgment  of  his 
deeds  of  valor,  was  made  governor 
of  Lisbon.  This  office  became  hered- 
itary in  the  family  of  De  Bouillon; 
and  Fernando,  as  first  son  of  the 
house,  was  heir  to  it.  And  Dona 
Teresa  was  hardly  less  illustrious. 


jo         The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

Her  ancestors  had  reigned  over  the 
Asturias  in  the  eighth  century,  until 
the  invasion  by  the  Saracens. 

Don  Martino  and  Dona  Teresa 
occupied  a  sumptuous  palace  close 
to  the  cathedral  of  Lisbon.  Here 
Fernando  was  born  on  the  i5th  of 
August,  1195.  Eight  days  after  his 
birth  he  was  carried  with  great 
pomp  to  the  cathedral,  and  there 
received  in  baptism  the  name  of 
Fernando. 

Though  nothing  of  a  prophetic 
nature  preceded  the  birth  of  Fer- 
nando, it  was  soon  evident  that  he 
was  no  ordinary  child.  Born  on 
the  Feast  of  the  Assumption,  it 
was  at  the  shrine  of  Our  Lady 
del'  Pilar  he  received  the  grace  of 
baptism.  To  the  Blessed  Virgin  his 
mother  consecrated  the  babe  when 
returning  from  the  baptismal  font; 
Maria  was  the  first  name  he  learned 
to  utter,  and  the  hymn  he  heard 
oftenest  from  his  mother's  lips  was 
"O  Gloriosa  Domina!"  As  a  child, 
the  sight  of  an  image  or  a  painting 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua        n 

of  the  Madonna  would  change  his 
tears  to  smiles;  as  a  religious,  he 
placed  himself  under  the  special 
protection  of  the  Blessed  Virgin; 
as  an  apostle,  he  was  her  champion, 
ever  sounding  her  praises,  ever  ready 
to  do  battle  in  her  cause.  At  the 
age  of  ten,  beautiful  in  form  and 
feature,  with  an  inner  spiritual 
beauty  that  gave  his  face  an  almost 
angelic  expression,  possessed  of  a 
sweet  and  gladsome  nature,  a  quick 
intelligence  and  a  lively  imagination, 
he  had  already  shown  a  preference 
for  the  secluded  paths  of  a  religious 
life. 

During  five  years  of  his  infancy 
Fernando  attended  the  cathedral 
school  in  Lisbon,  clothed  in  the 
garb  of  a  cleric.  He  was  a  pattern 
of  all  the  proprieties.  In  this  ex- 
quisitely refined  child  virtue  blos- 
somed like  a  flower,  and  breathed 
forth  a  delicate  fragrance  that  all 
who  approached  him  became  con- 
scious of. 

It    was    now    he    gave    the    first 

1     2 


12         The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

manifestation  of  that  power  which, 
through  him,  was  to  work  wonders 
so  long  as  he  lived, — wonders  that 
have  never  ceased,  and  are  never 
to  cease  in  this  ever-wondering 
world.  Kneeling  one  day  at  the 
shrine  of  Our  Lady  in  the  cathedral, 
his  eyes  on  the  tabernacle  wherein 
the  Blessed  Sacrament  was  veiled, 
a  demon,  one  of  those  baleful  spirits 
that  still  tempt  and  delude  the  un- 
wary, appeared  before  him.  Startled 
as  he  was,  with  the  pious  instinct 
of  nature  he  traced  upon  the  marble 
step  where  he  was  kneeling  the 
Sign  of  the  Cross.  The  vision  van- 
ished, but  to  this  hour  is  seen  that 
sacred  symbol  indelibly  impressed 
upon  the  marble.  In  that  hour 
Fernando 's  fate  was  sealed. 

With  everything  to  make  life  allur- 
ing— youth,  beauty,  health,  wealth, 
high  birth  and  gentle  breeding,  de- 
voted parents  and  idolizing  friends— 
the  child  turned  from  them  all.  It 
was  his  destiny.  Already  able  to 
meditate  upon  the  foolish  rewards 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua         73 

of  life  and  labors  in  the  world  and 
for  the  world  alone,  Fernando  ex- 
claimed: "O  world,  how  burthen- 
some  thou  art  become !  Thy  power 
is  but  that  of  a  fragile  reed;  thy 
riches  are  as  a  puff  of  smoke,  and 
thy  pleasures  like  a  treacherous  rock 
whereon  virtue  is  shipwrecked." 

He  seems  to  have  resolved  on  this 
occasion  to  enter  the  religious  life; 
to  turn  from  the  luxurious  delights 
that  had  never  appealed  to  his 
nature,  and  accept  poverty,  humil- 
ity, and  obedience  as  his  portion. 
This  resolution  once  formed,  nothing 
could  cause  him  to  reconsider  it. 

At  the  gate  of  the  Abbey  of 
St.  Vincent  he  implored  admission; 
"being  attracted  thither,"  as  the 
chronicle  quaintly  records,  "by  the 
renown  for  learning  and  holiness  of 
its  men."  Surely  nothing  could 
have  offered  him  a  more  pleasing 
prospect  than  the  society  of  such 
as  these ;  nothing  afforded  him  more 
perfect  satisfaction. 


14         The  Wonder-Worker  of  Padua 


II. 
FERNANDO  THE   SCHOLASTIC. 

WHAT  wonder  that  the  child  should 
have  turned  from  the  world  in  his 
fifteenth  year,  when  most  children 
at  that  stage  of  development  find 
an  indescribable  joy  in  mere  physi- 
cal existence?  From  his  earliest 
infancy  his  life  was  an  involuntary 
consecration.  He  was  meekness, 
compassion,  love  personified.  He 
had  a  special  devotion  to  the  im- 
poverished and  all  those  in  sorrow 
and  affliction.  He  was  never  known 
to  utter  a  falsehood.  All  the  offices 
of  the  Church  were  dear  to  him. 
He  never  failed  to  hear  Mass  daily, 
and  joyfully  and  most  reverently 
to  serve.  Our  Blessed  Lady,  pattern 
of  purity,  was  his  chosen  patroness. 
For  the  amusements  which  were 
the  delight  of  his  companions  he 


The  W onder-W orker  of  Padua         75 

cared  nothing;  the  pleasures  of 
life  he  never  knew,  and  hoped  never 
to  know.  He  was  the  natural  enemy 
of  idleness;  was  instinctively  studi- 
ous; and  of  a  sweet  solemnity, 
which  did  not  oppress  but  rather 
edified  his  associates,  and  endeared 
him  to  them. 

What  wonder  that  he  should  turn 
from  the  madding  crowd  and  seek 
the  seclusion  of  a  cloister?  There 
was  nothing  unwholesome,  nothing 
unnatural  in  his  resolve  to  quit  the 
world  while  yet  a  child  in  years. 
For  a  youth  of  his  temperament— 
a  temperament  which  was  an  angelic 
heritage — there  is  really  but  one 
step  to  be  taken;  firmly,  but  in  all 
humility,  he  took  it. 

Without  the  walls  of  Lisbon  stood 
the  Monastery  of  St.  Vincent,  a 
house  of  the  Canons  Regular  of 
St.  Augustine.  Having  obtained  the 
leave  of  his  parents,  he  went  thither; 
and,  casting  himself  at  the  feet  of 
the  prior — called  by  some  Gonsalvo 
Mendez  and  by  others  Pelagius, — 


1 6         The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

he  asked  to  be  admitted  to  the 
holy  brotherhood.  Naturally  edified 
by  the  gentle  and  reverent  spirit 
of  the  youth  who  knelt  before  him, 
the  prior  received  him  with  affec- 
tionate tenderness,  and  in  due  course 
of  time  he  was  clothed  in  the  white 
robe  of  the  Order. 
Jk<  What  happiness  of  heart  was  his, 
what  peace  of  spirit,  what  serenity 
of  soul!  Alas!  they  were  short- 
lived. His  friends,  missing  him  sorely 
sought  him  at  all  seasons.  If  he 
had  before  this  been  to  them  an 
engaging  mystery,  a  surprise  by 
reason  of  his  unlikeness  to  them  and 
to  any  other  whom  they  knew,  he 
was  now,  clad  in  the  pale  robe  of 
the  Augustinians,  their  wonder  and 
delight.  He  drew  them  irresistibly 
to  the  monastery,  and  their  well- 
meant  but  .ill-timed  visitations  were 
a  distraction  which  he  could  not 
long  endure. 

Two  years  were  enough,  and  more 
than  enough,  to  assure  him  that 
at  St.  Vincent's,  let  him  strive  never 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua        17 

so  bravely  against  such  a  fate,  he 
was  in  danger  of  losing  his  voca- 
tion. He  must  seek  security  in 
solitude,  in  exile;  and  that  without 
delay,  if  he  would  attain  the  per- 
fection which  was  his  aim  in  life. 
It  was  in  no  bitterness  of  spirit, 
no  pride,  no  impatience,  he  turned 
from  all  who  loved  him  most.  It 
was  an  honest  and  an  earnest  effort 
on  his  part  to  reach  that  state  of 
grace  for  which  his  heart  was  hunger- 
ing night  and  day.  At  St.  Vincent's 
he  was  neighbor  to  the  world  and 
the  worldly  life  he  cared  not  for. 
He  must  fly  hence,  at  any  cost  to 
comfort,  temporal  or  spiritual.  He 
must  steel  his  heart  to  the  sweet 
assaults  of  earthly  love;  for  the 
unity,  peace  and  concord  he  sought 
found  no  abiding  place  under  heaven 
save  in  cloistral  seclusion. 

The  prior  of  St.  Vincent's  had, 
during  the  two  years  of  Fernando 's 
sojourn  there,  beheld  with  joy  the 
fervor  of  the  youth;  and  when  that 
youth  implored  him  to  be  allowed 


1 8         The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

to  depart  into  some  other  house  of 
the  Order — some  house  far  removed 
from  Lisbon  and  the  voices  that 
were  constantly  crying  to  him  to 
return  to  them  again, — the  prior 
was  for  a  season  loath  to  give  him 
leave;  but,  as  the  old  chronicler 
says:  "Having  at  length,  by  tears 
and  prayers,  obtained  the  consent 
of  his  superior,  he  quitted  not  the 
army  in  which  he  was  enlisted,  but 
the  scene  of  combat;  not  through 
caprice,  but  in  a  transport  of  fervor. " 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 


III. 
FERNANDO  THE  AUGUSTINIAN  CANON. 

NEARLY  a  hundred  miles  from  Lisbon 
stood  the  Abbey  of  Santa  Cruz.  It 
was  lapped  in  the  seclusion  of  Coim- 
bra;  it  was  far  from  the  trials,  the 
temptations,  the  tribulations  of  the 
work-a-day  world.  It  was  the 
motherhouse  of  the  Augustinians, 
the  head  cradle  of  the  Order. 
The  sweet  influences  of  the  saintly 
Theaton,  its  first  prior,  still  per- 
fumed it.  It  was  the  centre  and  the 
source  of  all  the  noblest  traditions 
of  the  tribe,  the  inspiration  of  the 
clergy,  the  consolation  and  the  pride 
of  the  loyal  and  widely  scattered 
brotherhood. 

The  Abbey  was  a  far-famed  seat 
of  learning.  There  Religion  and 
Letters  went  hand  in  hand.  Don 


2O         The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

John  and  Don  Raymond,  both 
Doctors  of  the  University  of  Paris, 
were  among  the  scholars  at  Santa 
Cruz.  For  a  student,  for  a  religious, 
for  a  recluse,  there  was  no  retreat 
in  Portugal  more  desirable  than 
this;  and  thither  Fernando  was  sent. 

His  new  brethren  were  not  long 
in  convincing  themselves  that  Fer- 
nando 's  change  of  residence  had 
not  been  made  without  reflection, 
and  that  the  love  of  novelty  had 
no  share  in  his  decision.  He  had, 
it  is  true,  ardently  longed  for  soli- 
tude and  tranquillity;  but,  far  from 
seeking  therein  a  dispensation  from 
the  rigor  of  monastic  life,  he  sought 
but  a  means  to  perfect  himself 
in  virtue.  At  Lisbon  he  had  read 
the  literature  of  pagan  antiquity; 
at  Santa  Cruz  he  devoted  himself 
to  the  study  of  theology,  the 
Fathers,  history,  religious  contro- 
versy. Above  all  these,  the  Sacred 
Scriptures  won  his  ardent  attention. 

He  was  seventeen  years  of  age 
when  he  entered  Santa  Cruz.  He 


The  Wonder-Worker  of  Padua         21 

was  completely  detached  from  the 
world.  Nature  had  in  every  way 
richly  endowed  him.  His  memory 
was  prodigious.  All  knowledge  came 
to  him  freely,  without  effort;  and, 
once  acquired,  it  never  left  him 
more,  but,  beautifully  adjusted  and 
ready  for  instant  use,  it  seemed 
literally  at  his  tongue's  end. 

Eight  years  he  passed  at  Santa 
Cruz,  in  obedience,  in  prayer,  in 
study.  He  grew  continually  in  vir- 
tue— he  was  virtue's  self.  Devoted 
to  his  books,  he  never  permitted 
the  study  of  them  to  interfere  with 
the  pious  duties  allotted  him.  On 
one  occasion,  being  employed  in 
some  remote  part  of  the  Abbey,  he 
heard  the  note  of  the  Elevation 
bell;  turning  toward  the  chapel, 
he  prostrated  himself,  and  beheld 
the  distant  altar,  and  the  Sacred 
Host  in  the  hands  of  the  celebrant,— 
beheld  them  all  as  plainly  as  if  the 
intervening  walls  had  vanished  away. 

Nor    was    this    the    only    wonder 
he   worked   at   Santa   Cruz.     While 


22         The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

nursing  one  of  the  religious,  the 
patient — a  victim  of  obsession- 
became  uncontrollable.  Fernando, 
spreading  the  hem  of  his  mantle 
over  the  sufferer,  brought  to  him 
instant  and  permanent  relief. 

His  erudition  grew  to  be  the 
subject  of  general  comment.  He 
knew  the  Holy  Bible  by  heart;  he 
seemed  to  have  taken  the  sense  and 
substance  of  it  to  his  soul,  so  that 
it  became  a  part  of  him.  In  one 
of  his  commentaries  he  wrote:  "O 
divine  Word,  admirable  Word,  that 
inebriatest  and  changest  the  heart, 
Thou  art  the  limpid  source  that 
refreshest  the  parched  soul;  the 
ray  of  hope  that  givest  comfort  to 
the  poor  sinner;  the  faithful  mes- 
senger that  bringest  glad  tidings  to 
us  exiles  of  our  heavenly  country!" 

He  never  forgot  what  he  had  once 
studied;  though  the  time  was  to 
come  when  the  calls  upon  him  were 
so  many  and  so  various  he  had  no 
moment  in  which  to  read  anything 
save  only  his  breviary. 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua         23 


IV. 

FERNANDO  BECOMES  ANTONIO. 

NOT  far  from  the  Monastery  of 
Santa  Cruz,  at  Olivares,  stood  the 
Franciscan  Abbey  of  the  Olives. 
This  holy  house  was  small  and  poor. 
It  was  named  in  honor  of  St.  An- 
thony of  the  Desert;  his  poverty, 
his  frugality,  his  sobriety  were 
patterns  for  the  frati  who  dwelt 
there.  They  lived  upon  the  tribute 
gathered  by  the  humble  supplicants 
who  went  forth  daily  asking  alms 
of  the  faithful.  Often  they  had 
knocked  at  Fernando 's  door;  often 
he  had  shared  his  bread  and  his 
wine  with  them;  and  he  was  begin- 
ning to  feel  a  personal  interest 
in  them  when  the  five  friars  who 
were  afterward  martyred  in  Morocco 
sought  the  hospitality  of  Santa  Cruz, 


24         The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

where  he  soon  grew  to  know  them 
intimately. 

The  martyrdom  of  the  friars,  the 
transportation  of  their  relics  to  Por- 
tugal, and  the  shrine  prepared  for 
them  at  Santa  Cruz,  the  knowledge 
he  had  gained  of  the  origin  and  de- 
velopment of  the  Franciscan  Order, 
inspired  Fernando  with  a  longing 
to  become  himself  a  follower  of  St. 
Francis. 

Now  the  solitude  he  had  sought 
and  found  in  the  cloister  at  Santa 
Cruz  began  to  pale.  He  feared  he 
was  wasting  his  life;  he  felt  that 
his  energy  and  enthusiasm  should 
be  placed  at  the  disposal  of  those 
who  were  in  crying  need ;  and  surely 
there  were  many  such.  He  would 
even  follow  in  the  footsteps  of  the 
five  friars;  he  also  would  offer  his 
body  to  be  martyred  for  Christ's 
sake  and  for  love  of  his  fellowmen. 
Therefore  when  the  Brother  Questor, 
whose  duty  it  was  to  ask  alms  for 
the  needs  of  the  Convent  at  Olivares, 
came  to  Santa  Cruz,  Fernando  talked 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua        25 

long  and  earnestly  with  him  con- 
cerning the  rule  of  his  Order  and 
the  wonderful  founder  thereof. 

This  Brother  Questor  and  Fer- 
nando were  in  close  sympathy.  One 
day  when  Fernando  was  saying 
Mass  the  Brother  Questor  died.  At 
that  moment  Fernando,  dissolved  in 
ecstasy,  saw  his  soul  in  its  flight 
through  purgatory,  ascending  dove- 
like  into  the  realms  of  bliss.  It  may 
have  been  this  vision,  or  it  may 
have  been  the  glorious  sacrifice  of 
the  martyr  friars,  or  the  poverty 
and  devotion  of  the  brotherhood, 
that  inspired  Fernando  with  the 
desire  to  become  one  of  them;  we 
know  not  what  was  the  primal  cause, 
but  we  know  that  with  difficulty  he 
obtained  leave  of  the  prior  of  Santa 
Cruz  to  detach  himself  from  the 
Augustinians  and  join  the  followers 
of  St.  Francis. 

He  had  won  the  respect,  the  love, 
the  esteem,  the  admiration  of  his 
associates  at  Santa  Cruz ;  they  would 
fain  not  part  with  him.  One  said 


26         The  W onder-W orker  of  Padua 

to  him,  half  in  jest  and  half  in 
earnest:  "Go  thy  way;  thou  wilt 
surely  become  a  saint."  Fernando 
replied:  "When  they  tell  thee  I 
am  a  saint,  then  bless  thou  the 
Lord/' 

In  applying  for  admission  to  the 
Franciscan  ranks,  Fernando  had 
said:  "With  all  the  ardor  of  my 
soul  do  I  desire  to  take  the  holy 
habit  of  your  Order ;  and  I  am  ready 
to  do  so  upon  one  condition — that, 
after  clothing  me  with  the  garb  of 
penance,  you  send  me  to  the  Sar- 
acens, so  that  I  also  may  deserve 
to  participate  in  the  crown  of  your 
holy  martyrs/' 

Then  he  put  off  the  white  robe  of 
the  Augustinians  and  donned  the 
brown  garb  of  the  impoverished 
Franciscans;  took  unto  himself  the 
name  of  Antonio,  the  patron  of  the 
hermitage  of  Olivares;  and,  without 
one  adieu,  joyfully  vanished  from 
the  knowledge  of  all  those  who  had 
known  and  loved  him  in  the  flesh. 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua        27 


V. 

ANTHONY  SEEKS  MARTYRDOM. 

NOT  all  who  seek  shall  find.  An- 
tonio, or  Anthony,  was  permitted 
to  go  to  Morocco,  where  he  hoped 
to  end  his  days  in  an  effort  toward 
the  conversion  of  the  Moslems.  What 
dreams  were  his!  what  hopes,  what 
aspirations!  He  was  now  in  very 
truth  following  in  the  footsteps  of 
the  five  friars  who  were  his  first 
inspiration.  He  was  in  a  land  whose 
history  was  made  glorious  by  Ter- 
tullian,  St.  Augustine,  St.  Fulgen- 
tius;  great  pontiffs  and  learned 
doctors.  The  day  of  its  prosperity 
was  over  and  gone.  Its  flourishing 
churches  had  fallen  to  decay,  and 
the  arrogance  of  the  infidel  made  it 
unsafe  for  a  Christian  to  pace  the 
narrow  streets  of  those  white-walled 
cities  unattended. 


28         The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

Under  an  ever-cloudless  sky,  in 
the  glare  of  the  fierce  sunshine  and 
the  heat  of  the  desert  dust,  Anthony 
was  stricken  down  with  fever.  Fi- 
lippo  of  Spain,  a  young  lay -brother 
who  had  attached  himself  to  his 
person,  watched  with  Anthony  the 
whole  winter.  Not  once  did  the 
would-be  martyr  have  the  oppor- 
tunity of  exposing  himself  to  the 
fury  of  the  African  fanatics.  He 
was  utterly  prostrated;  his  life 
seemed  to  be  slowly  ebbing  away. 
Evidently  his  efforts  as  a  missioner 
in  Morocco  were  doomed.  The  fact 
could  not  be  kept  a  secret;  and 
accordingly  Anthony  and  Filippo 
were  recalled  to  Portugal  by  their 
superiors,  after  an  absence  of  but 
four  months. 

They  dutifully  embarked,  though 
their  hearts  were  heavy  with  dis- 
appointment. The  martyr's  palm 
might  wither  in  the  desert;  it  was 
evidently  not  reserved  for  them. 
Neither  were  they  destined  to  return 
to  Portugal.  A  white  squall  struck 


The  Wonder- Worker  of  Padua        29 

their  vessel,  and  it  was  cast  upon 
the  Sicilian  shore.  Anthony  and 
Filippo  landed  at  Taormina,  and  at 
once  made  their  way  to  Messina, 
where  there  was  a  convent  of  the 
Friars  Minor.  Here  for  two  months 
the  young  friars  reposed ;  here  health 
and  strength  returned  to  Anthony, 
and  he  entered  upon  a  new  lease  of 
life.  Here,  in  the  convent  garden, 
he  planted  a  lemon  tree  that  flour- 
ishes to  this  hour;  for,  like  the 
orange  tree  planted  by  St.  Dominic 
at  Santa  Sabina  on  the  Aventine, 
time  can  not  wither  it;  and  every 
succeeding  year  bud,  blossom  and 
fruit  give  testimony  of  its  eternal 
youth. 

About  this  time  the  official  notice 
of  the  convocation  of  the  fourth 
general  chapter  of  the  Franciscan 
Order  reached  Messina.  Anthony, 
Filippo,  and  certain  of  the  Sicilian 
friars  resolved  to  go  to  Assisi;  and 
it  was  Anthony's  desire  to  place 
himself  at  the  disposal  of  the  holy 
founder.  In  doing  the  will  of  St. 


jo         The  W onder-W orker  of  Padua 

Francis  he  felt  that  he  could  make 
no  error;  and  that  it  was  the  provi- 
dence of  God  alone  that  had  recalled 
him  from  Africa,  shipwrecked  him 
upon  the  Sicilian  coast,  and  was 
now  about  to  bring  him  into  the 
presence  of  the  seraphic  Father 
whose  child  he  had  become. 

Having  celebrated  the  Easter  fes- 
tivities at  Messina,  Anthony,  accom- 
panied by  Filippo  and  the  Sicilian 
frati,  set  forth  on  his  pilgrimage  to 
Assisi. 


The  Wonder- Worker  of  Padua        31 


VI. 

ANTHONY  AND   ST.    FRANCIS. 

THE  fourth  general  chapter  of  the 
Franciscan  Order  opened  at  Porti- 
uncula  on  May  30,  1221.  This 
chapter  was  a  marvellous  manifes- 
tation of  the  influence  exercised  by 
St.  Francis  over  his  followers.  It 
was  an  all-powerful  influence,  and 
it  was  ever  increasing;  time  alone 
was  necessary  to  enable  it  to  expand 
and  spread  unto  the  very  ends  of 
the  earth. 

St.  Francis,  a  year  previous,  had 
resigned  his  office  of  Minister-Gen- 
eral. He  had,  in  a  certain  sense, 
completed  his  mission.  His  Order 
was  well  established,  was  in  the 
most  flourishing  condition;  recruits 
were  constantly  approaching  him, 
and  at  his  feet  offering  the  labor 
of  their  lives.  His  wish  was  law: 


J2         The  Wonder-Worker  of  Padua 

no  one  questioned  it.  His  will  was 
their  wisdom,  his  word  was  final. 
This  stupendous  organization,  the 
inspiration  and  the  accomplishment 
of  one  mind,  had  yet  a  price  to  be 
paid  for  it,  and  a  high  price  it  proved 
to  be:  it  was  no  less  than  the  life 
of  the  holy  founder. 

Hoping  to  find  a  little  much- 
needed  rest,  St.  Francis  shifted  the 
burden  of  responsibility  upon  the 
shoulders  of  Peter  of  Catania;  but 
the  death  of  Peter  within  the  year 
compelled  the  enfeebled  Francis  once 
more  to  assume  the  reins  of  govern- 
ment. He  conferred  upon  Brother 
Elias  the  office  of  Vicar-General, 
and  thus  Brother  Elias  became  the 
mouthpiece  of  the  founder.  He 
was  literally  a  mouthpiece;  for, 
owing  to  his  physical  debility,  the 
voice  of  the  Saint  could  scarcely 
be  raised  above  a  whisper.  The 
voice  of  Elias  was  indeed  as  the 
voice  of  Francis,  and  was  listened 
to  by  all  in  unquestioning  silence 
and  obedience. 


The  W  onder-W  orker  of  Padua        33 

This  is  what  Anthony  beheld  as 
he  stood  in  the  multitude  assembled 
at  Portiuncula:  more  than  two 
thousand  friars  gathered  together 
from  every  part  of  Europe.  They 
were  presided  over  by  Cardinal  Ra- 
nerio  Capaccio;  but  St.  Francis 
was  the  magnet  that  drew  them 
thither,  the  power  that  swayed  them 
as  one  man,  whose  burning  and 
sole  desire  was  to  do  the  will  of 
their  seraphic  Father. 

As  the  fruit  of  his  husbandry, 
Francis  could  proudly  point  to  Sil- 
vester the  contemplative;  Giles  the 
ecstatic:  Thomas  of  Celano,  the 
noble  singer  of  the  Stabat  Mater; 
John  of  Piana;  Carpino,  and  many 
another, — all  these  bearing  the 
marks  of  suffering,  but  all  brave 
and  steadfast  warriors  for  the  faith. 
Here  they  were,  bowing  at  the  knee 
of  the  patriarch,  humbly  waiting 
his  will.  And  he,  pale  and  ema- 
ciated, sinking  under  a  prostration 
that  threatened  to  terminate  his 
life  at  any  moment,  the  patron  of 


34         The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

humility  and  zeal  and  love, — when 
he,  in  a  faint  whisper,  proposed  a 
mission  to  Germany,  eighty  friars 
sprang  to  their  feet  and  shouted 
with  enthusiasm  that  they  were 
ready  to  do  his  will  there  as  any- 
where and  everywhere. 

Unnoticed  in  this  great  throng, 
ravished  by  the  spectacle  of  the 
Saint  and  his  disciples,  trembling 
with  profound  emotion,  and  faint 
for  the  fire  of  love  that  was  consum- 
ing him,  stood  a  youth  of  six  and 
twenty,  who  was  one  day  to  become 
the  most  famous  of  the  followers  of 
St.  Francis.  Yet  not  one  eye  was 
turned  upon  him  in  kindness  or  in 
curiosity;  not  one  word  was  spoken 
to  him:  he  was  utterly  unnoticed 
and  ignored. 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua        35 


VII. 
ANTHONY    DESPISED    AND    REJECTED. 

ST.  FRANCIS  was  wont  to  read  the 
hearts  and  the  consciences  of  his 
children, — a  gift  that  must  have 
aided  him  often  in  their  wise  direc- 
tion. Were  it  not  evidently  pre- 
destined, it  would  be  surprising  that 
the  Saint  did  not  recognize  in  the 
youthful  Anthony  one  who  was  anon 
to  be  all  in  all  to  him  and  to  his 
holy  Order.  There  he  was,  this 
giant  in  embryo,  in  the  prime  of 
life,  singularly  attractive  to  the  eye, 
of  fascinating  manners,  radiant  with 
divine  love,  virtuous,  valiant,  face 
to  face  with  the  one  who  was  most  to 
influence  him  in  life — and  he  was 
suffered  to  pass  by  unnoticed. 

One  thought  was  now  uttermost 
in  Anthony's  mind.  He  could  not 
again  return  to  Portugal, — that 
would  seem  like  a  step  backward 


j6         The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

and  a  sign  of  failure.  He  must 
abide  near  St.  Francis.  He  felt 
that  he  could  no  longer  live  happily 
and  holily  apart  from  the  seraphic 
one,  who  so  powerfully  influenced 
all  those  who  were  attracted  to 
him.  For  this  reason  he  offered  him- 
self to  the  Provincials  and  Guardians 
of  Italy.  St.  Francis,  hearing  of 
this,  highly  approved  of  the  youth's 
renunciation  of  his  family,  his  friends 
and  his  country;  and  recommended 
him  to  those  who  were  in  need  of 
an  assistant. 

His  services  were  declined  by  all; 
he  was  not  welcome  and  not  wanted. 
In  a  great  measure,  he  was  himself 
the  cause  of  his  unsuccess;  yet  the 
wisdom  or  the  unwisdom  of  his 
motive  can  no  longer  be  questioned 
when  we  take  into  consideration  the 
natural  consequences  thereof. 

With  no  affectation  of  humility, 
the  young  friar  kept  secret  all 
knowledge  of  his  past.  He  assumed 
an  air  that  bordered  on  stupidity. 
It  is  hardly  surprising  that  he  was 


The  Wonder-Worker  of  Padua        37 

looked  upon  with  disapproval  by 
the  masters  of  novices,  who  were 
accustomed  critically  to  inspect  such 
candidates  as  offered  themselves 
from  time  to  time  at  the  novitiate. 
They  did  not  for  a  moment  suspect 
that  he  had  talents  and  learning  of 
of  no  mean  order. 

He  proffered  his  services  as  assist- 
ant in  the  kitchen;  he  volunteered 
to  sweep  the  house  well;  he  asked 
nothing  more  than  to  be  allowed 
to  do  this  for  the  love  of  God. 
Even  here  his  hopes  were  for  a 
season  thwarted.  His  slight  figure 
had  not  yet  rounded  after  the 
ravages  of  fever;  his  face,  naturally 
one  of  the  most  beautiful  among 
men,  was  still  drawn  and  pale.  He 
did  not  look  equal  to  the  calls  upon 
the  convent  drudge,  and  was  un- 
ceremoniously dismissed.  His  early 
biographer,  John  Peckham,  observes : 
"No  Provincial  thought  of  asking 
for  him."  He  was  deemed  unfit  for 
service  of  any  kind. 

His  case  was  beginning  to  grow 


38         The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

desperate.  What  could  he  hope  to 
do  for  the  greater  glory  of  God  and 
the  love  of  his  fellowmen?  Would 
no  one  take  pity  on  him?  Would 
no  one  give  him  some  duty  to  per- 
form? In  his  extremity  he  drew 
Father  Gratian,  the  Provincial  of 
Bologna,  aside  and  implored  his 
aid.  It  chanced  that  Father  Gratian 
was  in  need  of  a  priest  to  say  Mass 
at  a  small  hospice,  where  six  lay- 
brothers  formed  the  community. 
"Are  you  a  priest?"  asked  Father 
Gratian  of  the  unpromising  youth. 
"I  am,"  replied  Anthony. 

This  seemed  like  a  sad  awakening 
from  his  dreams  of  the  future.  Not 
Africa,  not  martyrdom,  apparently 
not  Italy,  could  he  claim  for  his 
portion;  but  Father  Gratian,  who 
must  send  a  priest  to  the  lay- 
brothers  in  their  retreat,  found  him 
sufficient  in  an  extremity ;  and  there- 
upon he  was  ordered  away  into 
the  mountains  to  say  Mass  for  the 
recluses  in  a  very  little  house  hidden 
in  a  lonely  place. 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua        39 


VIII. 

ANTHONY   THE   CONTEMPLATIVE. 

FROM  the  very  foundation  of  the 
Order,  the  Franciscans  have  pos- 
sessed two  kinds  of  holy  houses. 
There  were  the  large  convents,  usu- 
ally erected  in  cities  or  their  suburbs, 
where  the  friars  diligently  attended 
the  many  calls  upon  their  time, 
sympathy  and  strength;  and  there 
were  small  convents,  or  hermitages, 
often  hidden  away  in  the  fastnesses 
of  the  mountains  or  the  forest. 

One  of  these  minor  houses  was 
situated  not  far  from  Forli,  upon 
the  slopes  of  the  Apennines.  In 
all  Tuscany  there  was  not  a  more 
secluded  spot.  Monte  Paolo  was  an 
ideal  home  for  Anthony.  Separated 
from  the  outer  world  by  a  far- 
spreading  wood;  walled  in  by  rocky 


40         The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

heights,  where  only  the  birds  nested 
and  the  wild  goat  climbed;  visited 
by  heaven-sent  zephyrs;  nourished 
by  the  uncultivated  fruits  which 
nature  so  lavishly  contributed;  re- 
freshed by  a  delicious  spring  of 
crystal  purity, — that  sweet  solitude 
seemed  indeed  to  the  ill-judged 
and  disappointed  friar  an  earthly 
paradise. 

Here  Anthony  said  Mass  daily 
for  the  little  company  of  brethren; 
here  he  begged  leave  to  assist  them 
in  their  labors,  counting  it  a  priv- 
ilege so  to  do.  They  allotted  him 
his  task,  and  he  cheerfully  accepted 
and  performed  it.  They  had  not 
yet  discovered  that  he  was  a  man 
far  their  superior  in  all  respects; 
for  he  became  one  with  them — one 
with  them  in  spirit  and  in  truth,— 
but  he  was  the  holiest  of  them  all. 

Within  the  grounds  of  the  her- 
mitage at  Monte  Paolo  was  secreted 
a  deep  grotto ;  and  within  the  grotto 
a  cell  had  been  hewn  out  of  the 
rock,  and  here  Anthony  found  his 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua        41 

perfect  joy.  One  of  the  brethren 
had  long  used  this  cell  as  a  storehouse 
for  his  tools,  but  he  willingly  sur- 
rendered it  to  Anthony  when  the 
latter  ventured  to  ask  if  he  might 
have  the  use  of  it;  and  there  the 
friar  passed  most  of  his  time. 

Nearly  a  year  Anthony  passed  in 
the  wilderness.  His  bed  was  straw; 
his  pillow  a  stone;  his  food  and 
drink  a  little  bread  and  water.  He 
mortified  himself  by  fasting,  took 
the  discipline,  and  gladly  endured 
other  austerities  and  voluntary  pains. 

During  most  of  that  year,  so  far 
as  the  Rule  of  the  Order  and  the 
spirit  of  obedience  permitted,  he 
dwelt  alone  in  his  hollow  rock. 
His  time  he  passed  in  study,  med- 
itation, and  ever-ardent  prayer.  He 
translated  the  Psalms  of  David,  en- 
riching them  with  notes  and  com- 
mentaries suitable  for  the  use  of 
preachers.  Wittingly  or  unwittingly, 
he  was  preparing  himself  for  a  fresh 
field  of  labor;  and  perhaps  nowhere 
else,  outside  of  the  desert  itself, 


4-2         The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

could  he  have  found  so  suitable  a 
time  and  place  for  just  such 
preparation. 

From  a  cavern  came  St.  Francis, 
St.  Bernard,  St.  Norbert,  and  St. 
Benedict;  it  was  fitting  that  he  who 
was  to  become  a  saint  as  great, 
powerful  and  glorious  as  these  should 
come  also  from  a  cavern.  The 
Hermitage  of  Monte  Paolo  has  been 
by  old  chroniclers  compared  to  the 
cells  of  the  solitaries  of  the  Thebaid. 
Not  a  trace  of  the  building  itself 
remains,  and  more's  the  pity!  In 
1629  Signor  Paganelli  erected  an 
oratory  near  the  grotto  consecrated 
by  the  prayers  and  penances  of 
Anthony,  in  gratitude  for  a  miracu- 
lous recovery  from  illness  obtained 
through  his  intercession. 

Emmanuel  Azevedo,  one  of  An- 
thony's biographers,  upon  visiting 
the  spot,  found,  about  half-way  up 
the  mountain,  a  limpid  spring  that 
was  never  known  to  become  turbid, 
even  in  the  time  of  rains,  when  all 
the  neighboring  springs  were  thick 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua        43 

with  mud.  He  was  assured,  not 
only  by  the  peasants  whose  love  for 
the  Saint  may  have  made  them  too 
credulous,  but  by  resident  priests- 
it  was  also  the  testimony  of  distin- 
guished travellers, — that  on  Monte 
Paolo  (better  known  as  St.  Anthony's 
Mountain),  during  the  most  violent 
tempests,  when  the  neighboring 
heights  were  swept  by  furious  winds 
and  lashing  rains,  a  calm  as  of  a 
summer  twilight  prevailed;  and  that 
persons  overtaken  by  the  storm 
hastened  to  reach  the  favored  spot, 
knowing  full  well  that  there  they 
would  be  safe  from  harm — lapped 
in  an  atmosphere  as  serene  as  the 
soul  of  the  Saint. 


44         The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 


IX. 

ANTHONY  THE)   PREACHER. 

FOR  a  little  time  only  was  Anthony 
permitted  to  remain  in  comfortable 
and  peaceful  obscurity.  Solitude 
and  silence  he  always  loved;  but, 
alas!  he  was  no  longer  to  enjoy 
them  uninterruptedly.  In  Ember 
week — March  19,  1222,  according 
to  the  historian  Azzoguidi — the  cer- 
emony of  ordination  called  to  Forli 
a  number  of  religious,  both  Friars 
Minor  and  Friar  Preachers,  who  were 
to  receive  Holy  Orders.  Father 
Gratian  and  Anthony  were  also 
present,  but  neither  in  the  least 
suspected  the  surprise  that  was  in 
store  for  all. 

Father  Gratian,  who  had  not  failed 
to  note  the  edifying  fervor  of  the 
young  priest,  as  well  as  the  gleams 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua        45 

of  uncommon  intelligence  which  An- 
thony was  not  always  able  to  dis- 
guise, was  glad  to  have  this  oppor- 
tunity of  calling  the  hermit  to  Monte 
Paolo  from  his  vigils  to  attend  the 
functions  at  Forli.  Father  Gratian 
had  been  requested  by  the  bishop 
of  the  province  to  deliver  to  the 
candidates  for  ordination  the  cus- 
tomary address  on  the  sublimity  of 
the  priestly  office.  This  honor  he 
courteously  offered  to  the  sons  of 
St.  Benedict — many  of  whom  were 
present; — but  they,  being  unpre- 
pared, refused  to  speak  on  so  solemn 
an  occasion.  It  began  to  look  as 
if  the  ceremonies  were  likely  to  be 
interrupted. 

Suddenly,  as  if  by  intuition, 
Father  Gratian  turned  to  Anthony 
and  desired  him  to  exhort  the  can- 
didates. The  simplicity  and  beauty 
of  his  language  and  the  grace  of  his 
manner  were  greatly  in  his  favor; 
but  he  had  never  yet  spoken  in 
public,  and  since  he  had  become  a 
Friar  Minor  he  had  opened  no  book 


4<5         The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

save  only  his  breviary  and  the 
Psalms.  Therefore  he  modestly 
pleaded  his  inexperience  and  his 
inability;  he  confessed  that  he  was 
fitter  to  serve  in  the  refectory  than 
to  preach  to  the  learned  who  were 
present.  He  was  covered  with  con- 
fusion, and  heartily  wished  himself 
back  again  in  his  grotto  at  Monte 
Paolo.  The  superior  was  inflexible; 
and,  rejecting  all  excuses,  he  directed 
Anthony  to  preach  out  of  obedience, 
and  gave  him  for  a  text:  "Christ 
became  for  us  obedient  unto  death, 
even  the  death  of  the  Cross." 

The  young  priest  arose,  trembling 
with  humility;  in  a  low  voice,  the 
beauty  of  which  had  been  often 
commented  upon,  he  addressed  the 
Franciscans  and  Dominicans,  who 
were  filled  with  curiosity  and  ex- 
pectation. As  he  proceeded,  his 
voice  gathered  volume  and  his  speech 
fire;  his  cheek  flushed  with  fervor; 
his  body  swayed  as  a  reed  in  the 
wind;  his  wrapped  gaze  seemed 
fixed  upon  a  heaven  invisible  to 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua        47 

others,  and  he  spoke  as  one  divinely 
inspired.  His  hour  of  triumph  had 
come  at  last,  unsought  and  uninvited. 

Is  it  any  wonder  that  all  present 
were  astonished  beyond  measure, 
and  that  they  looked  upon  this 
maiden  effort  of  the  novice  as  little 
short  of  miraculous?  It  is  true  that 
his  whole  life  had  been  a  kind  of 
preparation  for  the  pulpit,  but  an 
involuntary  and  unconscious  one. 
His  range  of  experience  had  been 
large;  every  emotion  of  the  heart 
he  had  sounded  to  its  depths;  in 
his  solitary  hours  of  abstraction  he 
had,  in  spirit,  again  and  again 
communed  with  the  martyrs  of  Mo- 
rocco and  the  Canons  Regular  of 
Coimbra.  He  was  storm-tossed  in 
the  Mediterranean ;  prostrated  upon 
a  bed  of  pain  in  Africa;  an  obscure 
and  unobserved  pilgrim  at  Assisi; 
an  humble  servitor  and  solitary  at 
Monte  Paolo. 

Now  all  returned  to  him  like  a 
flash  in  brilliant  and  luminous  retro- 
spection; and  with  all  else  came 


48         The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

knowledge — a  revival  of  knowl- 
edge,— his  knowledge  of  the  Holy 
Scriptures  and  of  the  consecrated 
writings  of  the  Fathers,  together 
with  his  own  voluminous  comments 
thereon,  and  a  world  of  wisdom 
withal, — of  wisdom  not  of  this  world 
only. 

In  a  torrent  of  eloquence  that 
thrilled  and  amazed  his  listeners, 
he  developed  his  discourse  with  the 
skill  of  a  logician,  the  art  of  an 
orator,  the  charm  of  one  predes- 
tined to  the  pulpit;  and  brought 
his  last  period  to  a  conclusion  amidst 
a  chorus  of  enthusiastic  approba- 
tion. On  the  instant  he  found  him- 
self conspicuous  in  a  life  of  public- 
ity,— the  life  he  had  sought  in  vain 
to  fly  from.  Now,  in  deed  and  in 
very  truth,  his  inner  life  was  ended: 
he  was  henceforth  to  be  known  as 
Anthony  the  Preacher. 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua        49 


X. 

ANTHONY   THE   LECTOR. 

THE  Provincial  of  Romagna,  who 
was  present  when  Anthony  delivered 
his  first  sermon,  at  once  appointed 
the  young  apostle  a  preacher  in  his 
province;  and  St.  Francis,  hearing 
of  the  extraordinary  effect  produced 
by  the  sermon,  not  only  confirmed 
the  Provincial's  appointment,  but 
greatly  enlarged  Anthony's  sphere 
of  usefulness  by  giving  him  leave 
to  preach  anywhere  and  everywhere, 
whenever  an  opportunity  offered. 
And  yet  to  preach  only  was  not  his 
mission. 

St.  Francis  desired  that  Anthony 
should  apply  himself  to  the  study 
of  theology,  in  order  that  he  might 
speak  with  more  confidence  and 
authority,  and  likewise  be  able  to 


50         The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

instruct  other  of  his  brethren. 
Neither  St.  Francis  nor  any  one 
else  was  aware  of  the  nature  and 
extent  of  Anthony's  learning;  and 
he  was  therefore  sent  to  Vercelli  to 
study  theology  in  the  Monastery 
of  St.  Andrew,  of  the  Canons  Reg- 
ular, then  under  the  discipline  of 
Abbot  Thomas,  the  greatest  living 
doctor  in  all  Italy.  Thomas  was 
one  of  the  Canons  Regular  whom 
Mgr.  Sessa,  Bishop  of  Vercelli,  had 
called  from  the  Monastery  of  St. 
Vincent  of  Paris  to  that  of  St. 
Andrew  of  Vercelli,  on  account  of 
their  many  virtues  and  accomplish- 
ments. 

We  may  readily  imagine  the  rapid 
progress  so  holy  a  religious  as  An- 
thony must  have  made  at  St. 
Andrew's, — he  who  had  already  en- 
joyed the  hidden  treasures  of  Heaven. 
A  companion  in  his  studies  was 
Adam  de  Marisco,  of  Somerset,  dio- 
cese of  Bath,  England;  afterward 
Doctor  of  the  University  of  Oxford, 
and  finally  Bishop  of  Ely, — a  man 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua         51 

famous  for  piety  and  learning.  These 
young  men  were  received  by  Abbot 
Thomas  with  the  utmost  tenderness, 
and  in  them  he  found  pupils  de- 
voted to  their  studies,  of  intense 
application  and  surpassing  intelli- 
gence. Anthony  was  still  living 
under  the  rule  of  his  Order;  for 
St.  Francis  had  obtained  from  the 
Bishop  of  Vercelli  a  convent  situated 
near  the  ancient  Church  of  St. 
Matthew;  and  here  he  dwelt,  going 
at  appointed  hours  to  class  at  St. 
Andrew's. 

Franciscan  historians  assure  us 
that,  though  Anthony  applied  him- 
self most  diligently  to  his  studies, 
he  did  not  fail  to  preach  the  Lenten 
sermons  in  Milan  and  other  places 
near  at  hand;  and  that  on  these 
occasions  his  lucid  exposition  of  the 
Scriptures  astonished  and  delighted 
his  hearers.  Even  in  the  classroom 
he  was  a  marvel.  One  of  his  teachers 
says  that  while  explaining  to  his 
pupils  a  work  on  the  ''Celestial 
Hierarchy,"  Anthony  spoke  concern- 


$2         The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

ing  the  different  orders  of  celestial 
spirits  with  great  precision  and  won- 
derful intelligence;  and  it  seemed 
to  all  who  heard  him  as  if  he  were 
in  the  very  presence  of  that  hierarchy. 

So  rapid  was  Anthony's  progress 
in  his  studies,  so  comprehensive  his 
grasp,  and  so  felicitous  his  treat- 
ment of  every  theme  under  con- 
sideration, that  his  classmates  with 
one  accord  urgently  begged  that  he 
would  impart  to  them  something  of 
the  knowledge  that  seemed  his  birth- 
right. He  hesitated;  they  persist- 
ently implored.  Anthony  knew  that 
the  rule  of  the  Order  was  founded 
upon  poverty,  humility,  the  scorn 
of  all  things  worldly;  and  he  feared 
that  a  show  of  learning  might  be 
considered  scandalous  rather  than 
edifying.  Holiness  and  humility 
come  first  of  all;  science  and  the 
polite  accomplishments  should  follow 
in  their  course. 

That  he  might  observe  to  the 
letter  the  holy  rule  and  give  no 
cause  for  scandal,  Anthony  wrote 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua        55 

to  St.  Francis  asking  his  will  in  the 
matter.  Now,  there  is  not  the 
shadow  of  a  doubt  that  St.  Francis 
had  the  good — the  best  good — of  the 
Order  at  heart;  that  for  this  reason 
he  desired  gradually  to  work  certain 
reforms;  that  he  feared  a  tendency 
on  the  part  of  his  followers  to  an 
over-interest  in  the  affairs  of  this 
life  to  the  neglect  of  those  of  the 
life  which  is  to  come.  So  he  wrote 
to  Anthony.  The  letter  has  for- 
tunately been  preserved  in  "The 
Chronicles  of  the  Twenty-Four  Gen- 
erals." It  runs  as  follows: 

"To  his  dear  Brother  Anthony, 
Brother  Francis  sends  greeting  in 
the  Lord. 

"It  is  my  wish  that  thou  teach 
the  brethren  sacred  theology;  yet 
in  such  a  manner  as  not  to  extin- 
guish in  thyself  and  others  the 
spirit  of  prayer  and  devotion,  accord- 
ing as  it  is  prescribed  in  the  rule. 

:'The  Lord  spare  thee! 

"BROTHER  FRANCIS." 

Thus  was  Anthony  chosen  by  the 


54         The  Wonder-Worker  of  Padua 

patriarch  of  Assisi  to  depart  into 
Bologna  and  there  assume  the  office 
of  Lector  of  Theology.  Unhappily, 
no  notes  of  his  lectures  then  and 
there  delivered  have  been  preserved 
to  us;  but  from  his  "Commentary 
on  the  Psalms"  we  can  judge  of 
the  spirit  that  pervaded  them.  Be- 
cause of  the  nature  of  this  spirit 
there  have  been  those  of  his  brother- 
hood who  have  assured  themselves 
that  Anthony  was  the  author  of 
"The  Imitation  of  Christ."  The 
authorship  of  that  inspiring  work 
has  long  been  a  vexed  question; 
but  Francis  Richard  Cruise,  M.  D., 
in  his  ingenious  and  exhaustive  work 
on  "Thomas  a  Kempis,"*  seems  to 
have  finally  settled  it. 

In  his  lectures  Anthony  avoided 
dry  speculation;  he  brought  youth- 
ful enthusiasm,  coupled  with  the 
purest  and  loftiest  mysticism,  to 
bear  upon  the  minds  and  hearts  of 
his  pupils.  "To  know,  to  love!" 
this  was  his  teaching.  To  know,  so 

*~~London:  Kegan  Paul,  Trench  &  Co.,  1887. 


The  Wonder-Worker  of  Padua         55 

that  one  may  love  highly  and  holily ; 
to  love,  so  that  one  may  acquire 
the  knowledge  that  is  born  of  ardor, 
devotion,  self-sacrifice,  singleness  of 
purpose — the  flower  and  the  fruit 
of  love. 


56         The  W  onder-W  orker  of  Padua 


XL 

ANTHONY     THE     FATHER     OF     MYSTIC 
THEOLOGY. 

ST.  FRANCIS  was  the  inspirer  and 
St.  Bonaventure  the  most  illustrious 
representative  of  the  mystic  school 
of  theology;  but  Thomas  Gallo, 
Pope  Gregory  IX.,  and  St.  Bona- 
venture himself,  have  styled  An- 
thony the  father  of  the  school. 

Many  were  the  titles  conferred 
upon  the  inspired  gospeller.  Cardi- 
nal Guy  de  Montfort,  being  danger- 
ously ill,  was  miraculously  healed 
through  the  intercession  of  St.  An- 
thony; and  he  therefore  made  a 
pilgrimage  to  the  tomb  of  the  Saint 
at  Padua,  and  left  at  that  shrine 
a  splendid  reliquary,  embellished 
with  verses  wherein  the  Saint  is 
hailed  as  the  "star  of  Spain,  pearl 
of  poverty,  father  of  science,  model 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua         57 

of  purity,  light  of  Italy,  doctor  of 
divine  truth,  and  glory  of  Padua." 
This  father  of  mystic  theology 
and  founder  of  the  mystic  school 
of  the  Middle  Ages  was  from  the 
very  beginning  a  wonder-worker. 
His  preaching  was  nearly  always 
confirmed  by  miracles;  the  very 
sermon  itself  was  in  some  senses 
miraculous.  He  must  have  pos- 
sessed the  gift  of  tongues.  While 
in  Italy  he  preached  in  Italian;  yet 
all  the  knowledge  he  possessed  of 
that  mellifluous  tongue  he  got  during 
his  brief  intercourse  with  the  six 
illiterate  lay-brothers  at  the  hos- 
pice in  the  solitude  of  Monte  Paolo. 
While  in  France  he  preached  in 
French,  though  he  had  never  studied 
the  language.  Perhaps  more  remark- 
able still  is  the  fact  that  the  simple- 
minded  and  the  most  ignorant  lis- 
teners were  capable  of  fully  compre- 
hending all  he  said;  and  his  voice , 
though  gentle  and  sweet,  was  dis- 
tinctly heard  at  a  very  extraordinary 
distance  from  the  speaker. 


5#         The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

In  that  charming  volume,  "The 
Little  Flowers  of  St.  Francis,"  it  is 
quaintly  recorded:  "That  marvel- 
lous vessel  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  St. 
Anthony  of  Padua,  one  of  the 
chosen  disciples  and  companions  of 
St.  Francis,  who  was  called  of  St. 
Francis  his  Vicar,  once  preached  in 
the  Consistory  before  the  Pope  and 
his  Cardinals;  in  which  Consistory 
there  were  men  of  divers  nations— 
namely,  Greeks,  Latins,  French, 
Germans,  Slavs,  and  English,  and 
men  speaking  other  divers  tongues. 
Fired  by  the  Holy  Ghost,  so  effica- 
ciously, so  devoutly,  so  subtly,  so 
sweetly,  so  clearly,  and  so  plainly, 
did  Anthony  set  forth  the  word  of 
God,  that  all  they  which  were 
present  at  the  Consistory,  of  what- 
soever divers  tongues  they  were, 
clearly  understood  all  his  words 
distinctly,  even  as  he  had  spoken 
in  the  language  of  each  man  among 
them.  And  they  all  were  struck 
dumb  with  amaze;  and  it  seemed 
as  if  that  ancient  miracle  of  the 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua        59 

Apostles  had  been  renewed,  when  at 
the  time  of  the  Pentecost  they  spoke 
by  virtue  of  the  Holy  Ghost  in  every 
tongue.  And  they  said  one  to 
another,  with  admiration  and  awe: 
'Is  not  he  who  preaches  come  out 
of  Spain?  And  how  do  we  hear  in 
his  discourse  every  man  of  us  the 
speech  of  his  own  land?'  Likewise 
the  Pope,  considering  and  marvel- 
ling at  the  profundity  of  his  words, 
said:  'Verily,  this  man  is  the  Ark 
of  the  Covenant  and  the  vehicle 
of  the  Holy  Ghost/' 

Anthony  appeared  in  a  most 
opportune  moment.  The  Church 
was  sorely  in  need  of  him.  St. 
Dominic  had  gone  to  his  reward; 
the  labors  of  St.  Francis  were  at 
an  end:  he  could  only  guide  and 
encourage  by  his  advice  and  his 
approval;  and,  at  intervals,  instil 
new  life  into  his  children  and  confer 
a  benediction  upon  them  by  appear- 
ing, if  but  for  a  moment,  in  their 
midst.  The  honor  and  the  glory 
that  had  been  shared  by  St.  Francis 


60         The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

and  St.  Dominic  were  his  now;  for 
to  Anthony  fell  the  lot  of  continuing 
the  work  of  these  two  illustrious 
patriarchs. 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua         61 


XII. 

ANTHONY  THE  HAMMER  OF  HERETICS. 

WHEN  Anthony  girded  on  his 
armor  and  went  forth  to  fight  the 
good  fight,  the  affairs  of  Europe, 
especially  the  religious  affairs,  were 
in  a  sad  state.  Heresy  was  rife. 
These  heretics,  known  as  Partorini, 
Cathari,  Waldenses,  Albigenses,  and 
others  almost  too  numerous  to 
mention,  were  more  or  less  united 
in  an  attempted  revival  of  Maniche- 
ism;  for  the  most  part  they  taught 
the  eternal  existence  of  the  principal 
of  evil,  denied  the  responsibility  of 
the  rational  creature,  recognized 
fatalism,  and  advocated  the  right 
of  rebellion. 

The  secret  societies,  wherein  the 
Jew  was  a  rank  element,  had  for 
their  maxim:  Jura,  per  jura,  secre- 
tum  pander e  noli. — "  Swear  and  for- 


62         The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

swear  thyself,  provided  thou  keep 
the  secret."  Their  cry  was:  "Down 
with  the  Pope!  Death  to  the  Cath- 
olic Church!" 

That  was  a  sorry  time.  In  his 
"History  of  France,"  Michelet  says: 
"This  Judea  of  France,  as  Lan- 
guedoc  has  been  called,  was  not 
only  remarkable,  like  ancient  Judea, 
for  its  bituminous  pits  and  olive 
groves:  it  also  had  its  Sodoms  and 
Gomorrahs." 

"Italy,"  says  the  old  Franciscan 
chronicle,  "was  all  overturned  and 
filled  with  confusion  by  all  the  other 
nations,  who  came  in  to  blooden 
their  barbarous  swords  in  her  body; 
invited  so  to  do  by  the  Italians 
themselves,  who  called  them  in  to 
take  part  in  their  intestine  feuds, 
and  who  were  all  to  be  in  the  event 
their  prey — as  it  turned  out.  And 
thus  very  soon  there  not  only  failed 
among  them  those  sweet  manners 
which  used  to  make  the  Italians 
like  to  angels  on  earth,  and  placed 
them  above  all  nations  in  courtesy 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua         63 

and  charity;  but  there  died  away 
also  in  them  that  blessed  faith,  for 
the  love  of  which  they  had  re- 
nounced the  empire  of  the  world, 
placing  their  necks  under  the  most 
sweet  yoke  of  Christ  and  of  His 
Holy  Roman  Catholic  Church.  And 
as  it  happens  so  often  that  people 
take  their  customs  from  the  com- 
pany they  keep,  even  the  Italians 
drank  of  that  horrible  chalice  of 
heresy  and  abomination;  and,  owing 
to  license  of  life,  which  was  then 
at  its  highest  point,  heretics  began 
to  multiply  in  that  land." 

Anthony  seemed  to  have  been 
singled  out  by  Divine  Providence 
to  combat  the  prevailing  evils  of 
his  time;  to  have  had  all  his  own 
sweet  dreams,  high  hopes,  and  noble 
aspirations  thwarted;  to  have  been 
kept  in  the  background,  a  silent, 
unknown  man,  until  the  moment 
when  he  was  called  to  the  front,  to 
battle  and  to  victory;  for  he 
achieved  what  perhaps  he  alone  of 
all  men  could  have  achieved — a 


6 4         The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

glorious  and  triumphant  victory. 
How  well  he  knew  the  nature  and 
the  requirements  of  his  sacred  office ! 
He  said: 

"It  behooves  a  preacher  to  lead 
on  earth  a  heavenly  life,  in  keeping 
with  the  truths  he  is  charged  to 
announce  to  the  people.  His  con- 
versation should  only  be  concerning 
holy  things ;  and  his  endeavors  must 
tend  to  but  one  end — the  salvation 
of  souls.  It  is  his  duty  to  raise  up 
the  fallen,  to  console  them  that 
weep,  to  distribute  the  treasures 
of  divine  grace  as  the  clouds  send 
down  their  refreshing  showers.  And 
all  this  must  he  do  with  perfect 
humility  and  absolute  disinterested- 
ness. Prayer  must  be  his  chief 
delight;  and  the  remembrance  of 
the  bitter  Passion  of  Christ  must 
ever  accompany  him,  whether  in 
joy  or  adversity.  If  he  acts  in  this 
wise,  the  word  of  God,  the  word  of 
peace  and  life,  of  grace  and  truth, 
will  descend  upon  and  flood  him 
with  its  dazzling  light." 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua        65 

He  not  only  preached,  he  prac- 
tised what  he  preached.  The  serenity 
and  beauty  of  his  countenance,  the 
gentleness  and  meekness  of  his  de- 
meanor, were  an  example — a  living 
and  a  lasting  sermon  unto  all. 
Having  once  asked  one  of  the 
brethren  to  go  with  him  while  he 
preached,  the  two  went  forth,  and 
by  and  by  returned, — Anthony  not 
having  uttered  a  word  during  all 
the  time.  The  Brother,  turning  to 
him,  said:.  "Why  have  you  not 
preached  ? ' '  And  Anthony  answered : 
uWe  have  preached:  our  modest 
looks  and  the  gravity  of  our  behavior 
are  as  a  sermon  unto  those  who 
have  followed  us  with  their  eyes." 

He  was  absolutely  without  fear, 
and  proved  it  on  many  occasions. 
Ezzelino  of  Treviso,  having  placed 
himself  at  the  head  of  a  party  of 
Ghibellines,  made  himself  master  of 
Verona,  Padua,  and  indeed  most 
of  the  cities  in  Lombardy.  For 
forty  years  this  tyrant  ruled  there, 
and  his  bloody  and  horrible  reign 


66         The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

terrorized  the  people.  He  defied 
the  anathemas  of  Popes  Gregory 
IX.,  Innocent  IV.,  and  Alexander 
IV.  Hearing  that  the  long-suffering 
Paduans  had  revolted,  he  put  to 
death  in  one  day  twelve  thousand  of 
the  citizens. 

Ezzelino  lived  at  Verona.  The 
horror  of  his  presence  had  caused 
the  Veronese  to  fly,  and  the  city 
was  nearly  depopulated.  Armed 
guards,  as  savage  as  their  master, 
patrolled  the  almost  deserted  streets. 
Anthony,  going  alone  to  Verona, 
sought  audience  of  this  monster. 
He  entered  the  palace  of  Ezzelino 
and  was  conducted  to  the  audience- 
chamber,  where  sat  the  bloodthirsty 
one  upon  a  throne  surrounded  by 
his  murderous  troops.  At  a  word 
from  Ezzelino  these  human  tigers 
would  have  fallen  upon  the  defence- 
less Anthony  and  rent  him  limb 
from  limb. 

Anthony,  undismayed,  at  once 
addressed  the  tyrant;  assuring  him 
that  his  plunderings,  his  sacrileges, 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua         67 

were  as  a  myriad  tongues  crying  to 
Heaven  for  vengeance;  and  that 
his  innumerable  victims  were  living 
witnesses  before  God  against  him. 
The  ferocious  guards  stood  ready 
to  spring  upon  the  accuser;  they 
awaited  only  the  word.  What  was 
their  astonishment  when  they  saw 
merciless  Ezzelino,  pale  and  trem- 
bling, descending  from  his  throne, 
and,  putting  a  girdle  about  his  neck 
for  a  halter,  prostrating  himself  at 
the  feet  of  Anthony,  tearfully  im- 
ploring him  to  intercede  with  God 
for  the  pardon  of  his  sins! 

When  Anthony  had  departed, 
turning  to  his  soldiers,  Ezzelino 
said:  "Be  not  astonished  at  my 
sudden  change.  I  will  tell  you  the 
truth.  While  Anthony  was  reproach- 
ing me  I  saw  in  his  countenance  a 
divine  splendor;  and  I  was  so  ter- 
rified that,  if  I  had  dared  to  take 
vengeance,  I  believe  that  I  would 
have  been  suddenly  carried  off  by 
demons  and  cast  into  hell." 

Some    time    afterward    Ezzelino,. 


68         The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

wishing  to  test  Anthony  and  see  if 
he  were  really  more  than  human, 
sent  him  a  costly  gift.  The  gift- 
bearers  were  cautioned  to  press  the 
treasure  upon  Anthony;  but  if  he 
accepted  it,  they  were  to  slay  him 
at  once;  if  he  declined  it,  they  were 
to  come  away  and  use  no  violence. 
These  orders  were  obeyed.  Bowing 
before  the  friar,  they  said:  "Your 
faithful  son  Ezzelino  has  sent  us  to 
you.  He  earnestly  recommends  him- 
self to  your  prayers,  and  beseeches 
you  to  accept  this  gift  we  offer 
you." 

Anthony  of  course  declined  it, 
and  begged  that  they  would  return 
to  their  master  and  say  to  him  that 
it  was  God's  wish  that  he  should 
restore  unto  the  impoverished  whom 
he  had  laid  waste,  all  that  he  had 
cruelly  wrested  from  them;  and 
that  he  should  make  this  reparation 
before  it  was  too  late.  With  shame, 
they  withdrew  from  the  presence  of 
the  friar;  and  when  they  had  re- 
ported to  Ezzelino  all  that  had 


The  Wonder-Worker  of  Padua         69 

passed  between  them,  he  replied, 
thoughtfully:  "It  is  well.  This  is 
truly  a  man  of  God.  Leave  him  in 
peace.  I  care  not  what  he  says  of 
me." 

For  a  considerable  period  after 
this  Ezzelino  showed  a  disposition 
to  mend  his  ways:  he  was  less 
cruel,  less  bloodthirsty,  a  little  more 
considerate  of  the  rights  and  the 
feelings  of  his  subjects.  But  after 
the  death  of  Anthony  he  relapsed 
into  his  former  mood,  was  in  1259 
taken  prisoner  by  the  Confederate 
princes  of  Lombardy,  and  perished 
miserably  in  close  confinement. 

Anthony's  success  as  a  preacher 
was  phenomenal  and  unparalleled. 
That  fine  old  chronicler,  John  Peck- 
ham,  says  of  it: 

"From  all  parts  of  the  city  and  its 
neighboring  villages  people  flocked 
in  crowds  to  hear  the  sermons  of  the 
great  Franciscan.  The  law  courts 
were  closed,  business  was  suspended, 
labor  interrupted.  All  life  and  move- 
ment were  concentrated  at  one 


70         The  Wonder-Worker  of  Padua 

point — the  sermons  and  instructions 
of  the  mighty  wonder-worker.  Soon 
the  churches  could  not  contain  the 
audiences:  he  had  to  preach  in 
the  open  air.  The  plant,  dried  up  by 
the  heat  of  the  sun,  thirsts  for  the 
dew  of  the  early  morn;  more  lively 
and  impatient  was  the  desire  of  the 
Paduans  for  the  coming  dawn  and 
the  hour  for  which  the  conferences 
were  announced.  From  midnight 
the  city  was  in  motion.  Knights 
and  great  ladies,  preceded  by  lighted 
torches,  pressed  round  the  tempo- 
rary pulpit.  A  motley  multitude 
covered  the  plain;  while  the  bishop, 
accompanied  by  his  clergy,  presided 
at  the  services.  The  numbers  often 
reached  thirty  thousand. 

"At  the  hour  fixed  Anthony  would 
appear,  in  outward  demeanor  modest 
and  recollect ive,  his  heart  burning 
with  love.  All  eyes  were  fixed  upon 
him;  and  when  he  began  to  speak, 
the  crowds,  hushed  into  silence, 
listened  to  his  words  with  an  im- 
movable attention.  At  the  conclu- 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua        77 

sion  of  the  discourse  the  enthusiasm 
of  his  hearers  could  not  be  contained : 
it  burst  forth  in  sobs,  shouts  of 
joy  or  applause,  according  to  its 
effect  upon  each  listener.  The  crowd 
would  rush  upon  the  Saint.  Each 
one  wished  to  see  him  closer,  to 
kiss  the  hem  of  his  habit,  or  his 
crucifix;  some  even  went  so  far 
as  to  cut  bits  of  cloth  from  his 
habit,  to  keep  as  relics.  A  body- 
guard of  young  men  kept  near  him, 
to  prevent  his  being  crushed  by 
his  admirers. 

"But  the  most  admirable  effects 
he  achieved  were  the  following: 
Enmities  were  appeased,  and  con- 
tending families  publicly  reconciled; 
usurers  and  thieves  made  restitu- 
tion of  their  ill-gotten  goods;  great 
sinners  struck  their  breasts  in  humble 
repentance;  abandoned  women  fled 
from  the  haunts  of  vice  and  gave 
themselves  up  to  penance.  The  con- 
fessionals were  besieged;  vice  dis- 
appeared, virtue  revived ;  and  within 
the  space  of  a  month  the  aspect 


f2         The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

of  the  ancient  city   [of  Padua]  was 
transformed." 

Having  entered  the  campaign, 
which  proved  a  veritable  holy  war, 
within  three  months  he  became 
known  to  all  as  Anthony  the  Ham- 
mer of  Heretics. 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua         73 


XIII. 

ANTHONY'S  SERMON  ON  THE  MONAS- 
TIC 


THE  secret  of  Anthony's  marvellous 
success  we  do  not  know;  one  may 
have  thought  it  his  voice,  another 
his  manner,  and  yet  another  his 
beautiful  countenance.  His  piety, 
his  fervor,  his  persuasive  eloquence 
were  all  important  aids;  yet,  per- 
haps, these  alone  might  not  have 
swayed  the  masses  as  he  swayed 
them.  He  was  master  of  the  situ- 
ation: alone,  unrivalled  —  in  a  word, 
he  was  altogether  irresistible. 

It  is  a  marvel  that  we  know  so 
little  of  one  so  great.  One  of  the 
most  conspicuous  figures  of  his  time, 
he  is  yet  but  as  a  shadow  in  the 
history  of  that  time  —  or,  rather,  as 
a  bright  and  shining  light;  illusive, 


74         The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

like  a  Will-o'-the-wisp;  startling 
and  evasive,  like  the  meteor.  The 
truth  is,  he  was  not  of  this  world. 

The  details  of  his  life  are  scanty. 
Some  one  in  the  fourteenth  century 
cried  out,  almost  in  despair:  "We 
know  not  half  of  the  beautiful  actions 
of  our  hero!  Most  of  them  have 
been  allowed  to  fall  into  oblivion, 
either  by  reason  of  the  deplorable 
carelessness  of  his  first  biographers 
or  through  lack  of  authentic  docu- 
ments. "  This  is  the  more  surprising 
when  w^e  find  the  little  testimony 
that  is  preserved  to  us  aglow  with 
almost  boundless  enthusiasm.  In 
the  Lucerne  manuscript,  "St.  An- 
toine,"  Pere  Hilaire  observes: 

"His  soul  was  like  a  fair  garden 
fertilized  by  the  showers  of  divine 
grace,  where  bloomed  the  sweetest 
flowers  of  Heaven,  spreading  around 
their  fragrant  odor.  These  flowers 
were  meekness  and  humility,  poverty 
and  penance,  fervor  and  zeal,  wis- 
dom and  prudence.  Beyond  all 
praise  were  his  eloquence,  the  grace- 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua         75 

fulness  of  his  manners,  his  nobility 
of  character,  his  gentleness  and  kind- 
ness. Whether  in  the  pulpit  or  the 
confessional,  with  the  clergy  or  laity, 
he  everywhere  and  at  all  times 
evinced  that  spirit  of  prudence  which 
gives  the  golden  mean  to  all  the 
virtues,  and  exhibited  that  utter 
forgetfulness  of  self  which  won  him 
the  love  of  all.  In  a  word,  he  was 
indeed  the  beloved  of  God  and  men." 
When  Anthony  went  to  Limoges, 
in  1226,  he  preached  in  the  cemetery 
of  St.  Paul's  Church,  probably  on 
All  Souls'  Day.  A  Benedictine 
writer  has  preserved  the  beautiful 
text,  which  was  taken  from  the 
sixth  verse  of  Psalm  xxix:  "In  the 
evening  weeping  shall  have  place, 
and  in  the  morning  gladness."  A 
brief  exposition  of  the  text  has  been 
found  among  his  notes — most  likely 
a  synopsis  of  this  sermon.  "There 
is  a  threefold  evening  and  a  three- 
fold morning,"  he  says;  "a  three- 
fold weeping  and  a  threefold  glad- 
ness. The  threefold  evening  is,  first, 


7 6         The  Wonder- Worker  of  Padua 

the  sad  evening  of  the  fall  of  our 
first  parents  in  Paradise;  second, 
the  sad  evening  of  the  passion  and 
death  of  our  Redeemer;  and  third, 
the  sad  evening  of  our  own  fast- 
approaching  death.  The  threefold 
morning  is,  first,  the  glad  morning 
of  the  birth  of  the  Messias;  second, 
the  glad  morning  of  the  Lord's 
Resurrection;  and  third,  the  glad 
morning  of  our  own  future  resurrec- 
tion." Conceive  what  an  effect  this 
sermon  must  have  produced  as  it 
fell  from  those  inspired  lips  upon 
the  ears  of  the  mourners  among  the 
graves ! 

On  the  day  following  his  address 
in  the  cemetery,  Anthony  preached 
in  a  Franciscan  abbey,  not  far  from 
the  Church  of  St.  Paul;  and  his 
notes  of  this  sermon  on  the  monastic 
life,  happily  preserved  to  us,  are 
so  full  we  gain  from  them  a  pretty 
clear  idea  of  his  treatment  of  a 
theme.  On  the  text,  "Who  will 
give  me  wings  like  a  dove,  and  I 
will  fly  and  be  at  rest?"  he  says: 


The  Wonder-Worker  of  Padua         77 

"Such  is  the  cry  of  a  soul  that  is 
weary  of  this  world  and  longs  for 
the  solitude  and  peace  of  the  cloister 
life.  It  was  of  the  religious  life 
that  Jeremias  spoke  when  he  said: 
'Leave  the  cities,  and  dwell  in  the 
rock,  you  that  dwell  in  Moab;  and 
be  ye  like  the  dove  that  maketh  her 
nest  in  the  mouth  of  the  hole  in  the 
highest  place.'  'Leave  the  cities' — 
the  sins  and  vices  which  dishonor, 
the  tumult  which  prevents  the  soul 
from  rising  to  God,  and  often  even 
from  thinking  of  Him.  'Leave  the 
cities' ;  for  it  is  written :  '  I  have  seen 
iniquity  and  contradiction  in  the 
city.  Day  and  night  shall  iniquity 
surround  it  upon  its  walls;  and  in 
the  midst  thereof  are  labor  and 
injustice.  And  usury  and  deceits 
have  not  departed  from  its  streets/ 
There  is  to  be  found  iniquity  against 
God  and  man ;  contradiction  against 
the  preacher  of  truth;  labor  in  the 
ambitious  cares  of  the  world,  in- 
justice in  its  dealings,  knavery  and 
usury  in  its  business  transactions. 


7 '8         The  Wonder-Worker  of  Padua 

'Ye  that  dwell  in  Moab/ — that  is, 
in  the  world,  which  is  seated  in 
pride  as  the  city  of  Moab.  All  is 
pride  in  the  world, — pride  of  the 
intellect,  which  refuses  to  humble 
itself  before  God;  pride  of  the  will, 
which  refuses  to  submit  to  the  will 
of  God;  pride  of  the  senses,  which 
rebel  against  reason  and  dominate 
it.  ... 

"But  to  leave  the  world,  to  live 
remote  from  the  tumult  of  cities, 
to  keep  one's  self  unspotted  from 
their  vices,  is  not  sufficient  for  the 
religious  soul.  Hence  the  prophet 
adds:  'Dwell  in  the  rock.'  Now, 
this  rock  is  Jesus  Christ.  Establish 
yourself  in  Him;  let  Him  be  the 
constant  theme  of  your  thoughts, 
the  object  of  your  affections.  Jacob 
reposed  upon  a  stone  in  the  wilder- 
ness; and  while  he  slept  he  saw 
the  heavens  opened,  and  conversed 
with  angels,  receiving  a  blessing 
from  the  Lord.  Thus  will  it  be 
with  those  who  place  their  entire 
trust  in  Jesus  Christ.  They  will  be 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua        79 

favored  with  heavenly  visions;  they 
will  live  in  the  company  of  angels; 
they  will  be  blessed  as  Jacob  was, 
4  to  the  north  and  south,  to  the 
east  and  west/  To  the  north,  which 
is  the  divine  breath  mortifying  the 
flesh  and  its  concupiscences;  to  the 
east,  which  is  the  light  of  faith  and 
the  merit  of  good  works;  to  the 
south,  which  is  the  full  meridian 
splendor  of  wisdom  and  charity;  to 
the  west,  which  is  the  burial  of 
the  old  man  with  his  vices.  But  as 
to  the  soul  which  does  not  repose 
upon  this  rock,  it  can  not  expect 
to  be  blessed  by  the  Lord. 

"'And  be  ye  like  the  dove  that 
maketh  her  nest  in  the  mouth  of 
the  hole  in  the  highest  place/  If 
Jesus  Christ  is  the  rock,  the  hole  of 
the  rock,  in  which  the  religious  soul 
is  to  seek  shelter  and  take  up  her 
abode,  is  the  wound  in  the  side  of 
Jesus  Christ.  This  is  the  safe  harbor 
of  refuge  to  which  the  Divine  Spouse 
calls  the  religious  soul  when  He 
speaks  to  her  in  the  words  of  the 


8o         The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

Canticle :  'Arise,  my  love,  my  beauti- 
ful one,  and  come!  .  .  .  My  dove  in 
the  clifts  of  the  rock,  in  the  hollow 
places  of  the  wall/  The  Divine 
Spouse  speaks  of  the  numberless 
clifts  of  the  rock,  but  He  also  speaks 
of  the  deep  hollow.  There  were 
indeed  in  His  Body  numberless 
wounds  and  one  deep  wound  in 
His  side;  this  leads  to  His  Heart, 
and  it  is  hither  He  calls  the  soul 
He  has  espoused.  To  her  He  extends 
His  arms;  to  her  He  opens  wide 
His  sacred  side  and  Divine  Heart, 
that  she  may  come  and  hide  therein. 
"By  retiring  into  the  clifts  of 
the  rock,  the  dove  is  safe  from  the 
pursuit  of  the  birds  of  prey;  and 
at  the  same  time  she  prepares  for 
herself  a  quiet  refuge,  where  she 
may  calmly  repose  and  coo  in  peace. 
So  the  religious  soul  finds  in  the 
Heart  of  Jesus  a  secure  refuge 
against  the  wiles  and  attacks  of 
Satan,  and  a  delightful  retreat.  But 
we  must  not  rest  merely  at  the 
entrance  to  the  hole  in  the  rock: 


The  Wonder-Worker  of  Padua        81 

we  must  penetrate  its  depths.  At 
the  mouth  of  the  deep  hollow — at 
the  mouth  of  the  wound  in  His 
side — we  shall  indeed  find  the 
Precious  Blood  which  has  redeemed 
us.  This  Blood  pleads  for  us  and 
demands  mercy  for  us.  But  the 
religious  soul  must  not  stay  at  the 
entrance.  When  she  has  heard  and 
understood  the  voice  of  the  Divine 
Blood,  she  must  hasten  to  the  very 
source  from  which  it  springs — into 
the  very  innermost  sanctuary  of 
the  Heart  of  Jesus.  There  she  will 
find  light,  peace,  and  ineffable 
consolations. 

"'And  be  ye  like  the  dove  that 
maketh  her  nest  in  the  deep  hollow 
of  the  rock.'  The  dove  builds  her 
nest  with  little  pieces  of  straw  she 
gathers  up  here  and  there.  How  are 
we  to  build  up  an  abode  in  the 
Heart  of  Jesus?  This  Divine  Saviour, 
who  so  mercifully  gives  us  the  place 
wherein  we  are  to  make  our  abode, 
furnishes  us  at  the  same  time  with 
the  materials  wherewith  to  construct 


82         The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

it.  O  religious  soul,  dove  beloved 
of  Christ,  behold  those  little  pieces 
of  straw  which  the  world  tramples 
under  its  feet !  They  are  the  virtues 
practised  by  thy  Saviour  and  thy 
Spouse,  of  which  He  Himself  has 
set  thee  an  example — humility, 
meekness,  poverty,  penance,  patience, 
and  mortification.  The  world  de- 
spises them  as  useless  pieces  of 
straw;  nevertheless,  they  will  be  for 
thee  the  material  wherewith  to  con- 
struct thy  dwelling-place  forever  in 
the  profound  hollow  of  the  rock- 
in  the  Heart  of  Jesus." 

Thus  Anthony  preached  to  thou- 
sands and  tens  of  thousands.  And 
they  followed  him  when  he  had 
finished  speaking ;  for  it  seemed  that 
they  could  never  have  enough  of 
him.  It  was  his  custom  to  preface 
his  sermons  with  this  prayer,  which 
he  himself  composed: 

"O  Light  of  the  world,  Infinite 
God,  Father  of  eternity,  Giver  of 
wisdom  and  knowledge,  and  ineffable 
Dispenser  of  every  spiritual  grace; 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua        83 

who  knowest  all  things  before  they 
are  made,  who  makest  the  darkness 
and  the  light:  put  forth  Thy  hand 
and  touch  my  mouth,  and  make  it  as 
a  sharp  sword  to  utter  eloquently 
Thy  words.  Make  my  tongue,  O 
Lord!  as  a  chosen  arrow,  to  declare 
faithfully  Thy  wonders.  Put  Thy 
spirit,  O  Lord!  in  my  heart,  that  I 
may  perceive;  in  my  soul,  that  I 
may  retain;  and  in  my  conscience, 
that  I  may  meditate.  Do  Thou 
lovingly,  holily,  mercifully,  clem- 
ently and  gently  inspire  me  with 
Thy  grace.  Do  Thou  teach,  guide 
and  strengthen  the  comings  in  and 
goings  out  of  my  senses  and  my 
thoughts.  And  let  Thy  discipline 
instruct  me  even  to  the  end,  and 
the  counsel  of  the  Most  High  help 
me,  through  Thine  infinite  wisdom 
and  mercy.  Amen." 

So  shone  this  light,  with  a  glow 
as  of  fire  from  heaven,  in  the  so- 
called  Dark  Ages. 


8 '4         The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 


XIV. 

ANTHONY  THE   WONDER-WORKER. 

THAT  miracles  have  occurred,  and 
are  occurring  even  in  our  own  day, 
there  is  no  shadow  of  doubt.  What 
is  a  miracle?  According  to  Worcester 
a  miracle  is  "an  effect  of  which  the 
antecedent  can  not  be  referred  to 
any  secondary  cause;  an  event  or 
occurrence  which  can  not  be  ex- 
plained by  any  known  law  of  nature ; 
a  deviation  from  the  established  law 
of  nature ;  something  not  only  super- 
human, but  preternatural;  a  prod- 
igy, a  wonder,  a  marvel." 

Thousands  of  eye-witnesses  bore 
testimony  in  their  day  to  the  wonders 
worked  by  Anthony  in  France  and 
Italy.  It  would  seem  that  his  fame 
must  have  preceded  him,  and  that 
wherever  he  went  his  approach  must 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua        6*5 

have  been  heralded  and  his  appear- 
ance hailed  with  enthusiasm  by 
expectant  and  animated  throngs. 
This  was  not  the  case.  Obedient 
to  the  voice  of  his  superiors,  he  went 
wheresoever  he  was  bidden;  went 
alone  and  unannounced;  a  stranger 
in  a  strange  land,  unrecognized  of 
any  until  he  had  lifted  that  voice 
whose  persuasive  eloquence  no  one 
was  long  able  to  withstand.  Then 
came  his  triumph,  complete  and 
overwhelming.  Triumph  followed 
upon  triumph,  until  at  last  the  land 
rang  with  his  praises.  On  every 
hand  he  gave  abundant  proof  of 
the  divine  power  which  he  was 
called  upon  to  exercise.  Following 
in  the  footsteps  of  his  Blessed  Mas- 
ter, he  healed  the  sick,  raised  the 
dead,  and  wakened  the  living  to 
life  everlasting. 

Preaching  once  upon  a  time  in 
the  pulpit  of  the  Church  of  St. 
Eusebius  in  Vicelli — a  small  Italian 
city,  then  an  independent  republic, 
like  many  another  city  of  that 


86         The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

day, — vast  crowds  pressed  about 
him.  Suddenly  a  great  commotion 
arose.  With  difficulty  a  grief -stricken 
family  bore  toward  him  the  body 
of  one  of  their  number,  cut  down 
in  the  prime  of  life.  A  great  wail 
went  up  from  the  people.  Anthony 
paused  in  his  discourse,  profoundly 
moved.  Recollecting  himself,  he  ex- 
tended his  hand  toward  the  body 
and  cried:  "In  the  name  of  Christ 
I  say  unto  you,  young  man,  arise!" 
And  immediately  the  youth  arose 
from  the  dead,  full  of  joy,  restored 
to  health  and  to  the  arms  of  those 
who  had  bewailed  him. 

Great  is  the  number  and  the 
variety  of  the  wonders  worked  by 
Anthony.  Here  are  a  few  of  them 
taken  at  random  from  the  pages 
of  his  several  chroniclers. 

He  was  preaching  in  the  cathedral 
at  Montpellier,  in  the  presence  of 
the  clergy  and  a  vast  multitude.  It 
was  Easter  Sunday.  In  the  midst 
of  his  discourse  he  suddenly  remem- 
bered that  he  had  been  appointed 


The  W onder-W orker  of  Padua        87 

to  sing  at  Solemn  High  Mass  in 
the  choir  of  a  neighboring  convent 
chapel.  He  had  forgotten  this;  he 
had  even  forgotten  to  find  a  sub- 
stitute, and  the  hour  of  the  Mass 
was  at  hand.  This  seemed  to  him 
an  act  of  disobedience;  and,  in  his 
distress,  he  drew  his  cowl  over  his 
face,  sank  back  in  the  pulpit  and 
remained  silent  for  a  long  time.  The 
people,  in  amazement,  watched  and 
waited.  At  the  moment  when  he 
ceased  speaking  in  the  cathedral, 
though  all  the  while  visible  to  the 
congregation,  he  appeared  in  the 
convent  choir  among  his  brethren 
and  sang  his  office.  At  the  close 
of  the  service  he  recovered  himself 
in  the  pulpit  of  the  cathedral,  and, 
as  his  chronicler  says,  finished  his 
sermon  "with  incomparable  elo- 
quence." 

Anthony  had  completed  his  ' '  Com- 
mentary on  the  Psalms,"  the  fruit 
of  long  vigilance  and  profound  med- 
itation. A  novice,  weary  of  the 
religious  life  and  its  ceaseless  auster- 


88         The  Wonder-Worker  of  Padua 

ities,  resolved  to  return  to  the  world, 
and,  coveting  Anthony's  precious 
manuscript,  he  captured  it  and  fled. 
The  young  rascal  could  have  had 
no  sense  of  humor,  or  he  would 
hardly  have  turned  his  back  upon 
the  cloister  and  sought  the  mixed 
society  of  the  world,  the  flesh  and 
the  devil  with  a  stolen  copy  of  a 
"Commentary  on  the  Psalms"  as 
his  companion.  Probably  he  hoped 
to  profit  by  it  in  a  worldly  way; 
but  in  this  he  was  strangely  thwarted. 
Upon  discovering  his  loss,  Anthony 
had,  as  ever,  recourse  to  prayer. 
At  that  very  moment  the  fleeing 
youth  was  confronted  by  a  monstrous 
creature,  that  ordered  him  to  return 
at  once  to  the  abbey  and  restore 
the  "  Commentary "  to  its  author. 
This  he  was  now  only  too  glad  to 
do.  And  the  Saint,  rejoiced  at  the 
recovery  of  his  manuscript,  as  well 
as  of  the  soul  that  was  in  peril, 
received  the  novice  with  every  mark 
of  affection.  Nor  was  his  loving- 
kindness  ill  bestowed;  for  the  lad 


The  Wonder-Worker  of  Padua        89 

became  one  of  the  most  favored  of 
the  faithful. 

As  St.  Francis  hushed  the  carolling 
birds  in  the  Venetian  lagoon,  say- 
ing, "  Cease  your  singing  a  little 
while  until  we  have  rendered  to 
God  our  homage  of  praise,"  so 
Anthony  rebuked  the  clamoring  frogs 
in  a  noisy  pool  at  the  Convent  of 
Montpellier,  and  they  thereafter  ob- 
served a  respectable  silence  at  the 
hours  of  prayer. 

At  Puy-en-Velay  he  converted  a 
notary  of  dissolute  habits  and  violent 
temper.  When  they  met  in  the 
streets  Anthony  would  bow  to  the 
notary,  and  the  latter  would  fly 
into  a  rage,  believing  that  he  was 
in  mockery.  Still  Anthony  saluted 
him  reverently  and  more  rever- 
ently; whereupon  the  notary  cried, 
in  a  fury:  "What  does  this  mean? 
But  for  fear  of  the  anger  of 
God  I  would  run  you  through 
with  my  sword."  Then  Anthony 
replied,  with  perfect  composure :  UO 
my  brother!  you  do  not  know  the 


po         The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

honor  in  store  for  you.  I  envy  your 
happiness.  I  longed  for  the  martyr's 
palm:  the  Lord  denied  it  to  me, 
but  He  has  revealed  to  me  that 
this  grace  is  reserved  for  you.  When 
that  blessed  hour  arrives,  be  mind- 
ful, I  beseech  you,  of  him  who 
foretold  it  to  you."  And  it  came  to 
pass  even  as  it  had  been  predicted. 

To  a  lady  of  rank  who  recom- 
mended herself  to  his  prayers,  An- 
thony said:  "Be  of  good  heart,  my 
daughter,  and  rejoice;  for  the  Lord 
will  give  you  a  son  who,  as  a  Friar 
Minor  and  a  martyr,  will  shed  lustre 
upon  the  Church."  This  prediction 
was  likewise  fulfilled. 

Many  he  delivered  from  sore  temp- 
tations, and  they  were  never  again 
persecuted.  To  a  poor  sinner,  over- 
whelmed with  sorrow,  who  could 
find  no  voice  with  which  to  confess 
himself,  Anthony  said:  "Go  write 
down  your  sins,  and  bring  me  the 
parchment."  The  penitent  did  as 
he  was  bidden,  returning  with  a 
tear-stained  scroll.  As  he  read  out 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua        91 

his  sins  one  after  the  other,  each 
disappeared  from  the  parchment; 
and,  having  reached  the  last  of 
these,  lo!  the  scroll  was  spotless. 

At  St.  Junien,  Anthony,  who  was 
about  to  address  the  public,  pre- 
dicted that  the  platform  which  had 
been  erected  for  his  use  would 
collapse,  but  that  no  one  would  be 
injured.  The  fact  was  speedily 
verified. 

One  day,  preaching  to  a  great 
multitude  in  a  large  square  in  the 
city  of  Limoges,  France,  a  violent 
storm  gathered  and  filled  the  people 
with  terror.  They  began  to  disperse 
in  haste,  when  Anthony  said :  "  Fear 
not:  the  storm  will  pass  you  by." 
So  they  remained;  and,  though  the 
city  was  deluged,  not  a  drop  of 
rain  fell  in  the  square  where  Anthony 
was  preaching. 

At  Brive  the  Saint  established  a 
little  hermitage  similar  to  the  one 
at  Monte  Paolo.  Postulants  joined 
him,  seeking  solitude  and  poverty. 
On  one  occasion,  when  they  were 


p2         The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

in  distress,  a  much-needed  alms 
was  sent  them  by  a  lady  to  whom 
they  had  reluctantly  applied  for 
aid.  The  lady's  servant  carried  the 
gift  to  them  through  a  severe  storm ; 
yet  going  and  coming  the  servant 
walked  dry-shod,  and  not  one  drop 
of  water  from  the  pouring  clouds 
fell  upon  her. 

One  evening  his  companions  at 
the  hospice  saw  a  band  of  marauders 
despoiling  the  field  of  one  of  the 
benefactors  of  the  little  community, 
and  they  hastened  to  complain  to 
Anthony.  "Fear  not,"  said  he.  "  'Tis 
but  an  artifice  of  the  Evil  One  to 
distract  you."  On  the  morrow  they 
found  that  the  field  had  been 
untouched. 

The  Cathari  of  Rimini  invited  the 
Saint  to  a  feast  of  poisons.  His 
astounding  success  in  bringing  wan- 
derers back  to  the  fold  filled  them 
with  hatred  of  him.  He  knew  at 
once  that  a  snare  had  been  laid  for 
him  by  the  Cathari,  and  denounced 
them  openly;  thereupon  they  said 


The  Wonder-Worker  of  Padua        93 

to  him:  "Either  you  believe  the 
words  of  the  Gospel  or  you  do  not. 
If  you  believe  them,  why  hesitate 
to  eat?  Is  it  not  written,  'In  My 
name  they  shall  cast  out  devils; 
they  shall  handle  serpents;  and  if 
they  shall  drink  any  deadly  thing, 
it  shall  not  hurt  them'?  If  you  do 
not  believe  the  Gospel  to  be  true, 
why  do  you  preach  it?  Take,  there- 
fore, and  eat.  If  you  go  unhurt, 
we  swear  to  embrace  the  Catholic 
faith."  Blessing  the  viands,  the 
servant  of  God  ate  and  was  un- 
harmed; and  all  those  who  beheld 
the  miracle  returned  into  the  fold. 

Paralysis  and  epilepsy  he  cured 
with  the  Sign  of  the  Cross. 

At  Gemona,  near  Udine,  where  he 
was  erecting  a  small  convent  on  the 
model  of  the  Portiuncula,  he  one 
day  hailed  a  peasant  who  was  passing 
with  an  ox  team,  and  begged  that 
a  load  of  bricks  might  be  brought 
him.  The  peasant,  not  knowing 
who  addressed  him,  and  not  caring 
to  be  pressed  into  Anthony's  service, 


P4         The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

said:  "I  can  not  help  you,  for  I 
am  carrying  a  corpse."  The  truth 
is,  the  peasant's  son  lay  sleeping 
in  the  bottom  of  the  cart.  When 
the  peasant,  a  little  later,  attempted 
to  waken  the  boy  so  as  to  tell  him 
how  he  had  fooled  the  friar,  he 
found  that  his  son  was  dead.  Then 
he  ran  to  Anthony  and  implored 
him  to  restore  the  life  of  the  boy; 
and  Anthony  making  the  Sign  of 
the  Cross  over  the  body,  the  youth 
arose  and  blessed  him. 

Often,  under  the  influence  of  his 
exhortations,  penitents  were  moved 
to  tears  and  convulsive  sobs.  To 
such  he  would  say — to  quote  from 
his  notes :  ' '  Poor  sinner,  why  despair 
of  thy  salvation,  since  all  here  speaks 
of  mercy  and  of  love?  Behold  the 
two  advocates  who  plead  thy  cause 
before  the  tribunal  of  Divine  Justice : 
a  Mother  and  a  Redeemer, — Mary, 
who  presents  to  her  Son  her  heart 
transfixed  with  the  sword  of  sorrow; 
Jesus,  who  presents  to  His  Father 
the  wounds  in  His  feet  and  hands, 


The  Wonder-Worker  of  Padua         95 

and  His  Heart  pierced  by  the 
soldier's  lance.  Take  courage;  with 
such  a  mediator,  with  such  an  inter- 
cessor, Divine  Mercy  can  not  reject 
thee." 

Who  could  resist  this  appeal,  or 
fail  to  find  strength  and  consola- 
tion in  it? 


9  6         The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 


XV. 

ANTHONY  PREACHES  TO  THE  FISHES. 

AGAIN  I  return  to  that  garden 
of  delights,  "The  Little  Flowers  of 
St.  Francis."  So  delicate,  so  dainty, 
so  fragrant  are  these  flowers  one 
can  not  pass  them  by  unnoticed. 
The  lips  of  the  devout  fashioned 
them,  and  for  two  centuries  they 
blossomed  wherever  the  lovers  of 
the  Saint  were  gathered  together; 
then  they  were  carefully  culled  and 
brought  from  near  and  far;  and  a 
bouquet  was  made  of  them,  and  it 
was  called  "The  Little  Flowers  of 
St.  Francis. " 

Therein  we  find  that  "  our  Blessed 
Lord  and  Saviour  Jesus  Christ,  de- 
siring to  set  forth  the  great  sanctity 
of  His  most  faithful  servant,  St. 
Anthony,  how  devout  a  thing  it 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua         97 

was  to  hear  his  preaching  and  his 
holy  doctrines,  He  reproved  the 
folly  of  heretics  and  infidels  through 
unreasoning  beasts — notably  the 
fishes, — as  of  old  in  the  Bible  He 
chid  the  ignorance  of  Balaam  through 
the  mouth  of  the  ass.  Hence  St. 
Anthony  being  at  Rimini,  where 
there  was  a  great  multitude  of 
heretics,  desiring  to  bring  them  back 
to  the  light  of  the  true  faith  and 
to  the  ways  of  virtue,  for  many  days 
did  preach  and  set  forth  to  them 
the  faith  of  Christ  and  of  the  Holy 
Scriptures.  But  they,  not  only  con- 
senting not  to  his  holy  words,  but 
even,  like  hardened  and  obstinate 
sinners,  refusing  to  hearken  unto 
him,  the  Saint  one  day,  by  divine 
inspiration,  went  forth  to  the  banks 
of  the  river  close  beside  the  sea; 
and,  standing  thus  upon  the  shore 
betwixt  sea  and  stream,  he  began 
to  speak  in  the  guise  of  a  sermon 
in  the  name  of  God  unto  the  fishes. 
'Hear  the  word  of  God,  ye  fishes 
of  the  sea  and  of  the  stream,  since 


9<9         The  Wonder-Worker  of  Padua 

heretics  and  infidels  are  loath  to 
listen  to  it.1 

"And,  having  uttered  these  words, 
suddenly  there  came  toward  him 
so  great  a  multitude  of  fishes — great, 
small,  and  middle-sized — as  had 
never  been  seen  in  that  sea  or  in 
that  stream,  or  of  the  people  round 
about;  and  all  held  their  heads  up 
out  of  the  water,  and  all  turned 
attentively  toward  the  face  of  An- 
thony. And  the  greatest  peace  and 
meekness  and  order  prevailed;  in- 
somuch that  next  the  shore  stood 
the  lesser  fish,  and  after  them  the 
middle  fish,  and  still  after  them, 
where  the  water  was  deepest,  stood 
the  larger  fish. 

"The  fish  being  thus  ranged  in 
order,  St.  Anthony  began  solemnly 
to  preach,  speaking  thus:  'My 
brothers  the  fish,  you  are  greatly 
bounden,  so  far  as  in  you  lies,  to 
thank  your  Creator  that  He  hath 
given  you  so  noble  an  element  for 
your  habitation;  so  that  at  your 
pleasure  you  have  fresh  waters  and 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua         99 

salt;  and  He  hath  given  you  many 
shelters  against  storm.  He  hath 
also  given  you  a  clear  and  lucid 
element,  and  food  by  which  you 
may  live.  God,  your  courteous  and 
benign  Creator,  when  He  created 
you,  commanded  you  to  grow  and 
multiply;  and  He  gave  you  His 
blessing.  Then  when  the  great  flood 
swallowed  up  the  world,  and  all 
the  other  animals  were  destroyed, 
God  preserved  you  only  without 
injury  or  harm.  Almost  hath  He 
given  you  wings,  that  you  may 
roam  whithersoever  it  pleases  you. 
To  you  was  it  granted,  by  God's 
command,  to  preserve  the  prophet 
Jonah,  and  after  the  third  day  to 
cast  him  up  upon  the  land  safe  and 
sound.  You  offered  tribute  to  our 
Lord  Jesus  Christ,  which  He,  poor 
and  lowly,  had  not  wherewithal  to 
pay.  You  were  the  food  of  the 
everlasting  King  Christ  Jesus  before 
the  Resurrection,  and  again  after 
it,  by  a  strange  mystery;  for  the 
which  things  greatly  are  you  bounden 


ioo       The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

to  praise  and  bless  God,  which  hath 
given  you  such  great  and  so  many 
benefits,  more  than  to  any  other 
creatures/ 

"Upon  these  and  other  familiar 
words  and  the  teachings  of  St. 
Anthony,  the  fishes  began  to  open 
their  mouths  and  to  bow  their 
heads;  and  by  these  and  other  signs 
of  reverence,  according  as  it  was 
possible  to  them,  they  praised  God. 
Then  St.  Anthony,  seeing  such  rev- 
erence in  the  fishes  toward  God  their 
Creator,  rejoiced  in  spirit,  cried 
aloud  and  said:  'Blessed  be  the 
eternal  God,  since  fishes  of  the  water 
honor  Him  far  more  than  heretic 
men,  and  the  unreasoning  beasts 
more  readily  hearken  to  His  word 
than  faithless  men/  And  as  St. 
Anthony  continued  his  preaching, 
the  multitude  of  fishes  was  increased 
yet  more,  and  none  departed  from 
the  place  which  he  had  filled. 

"Upon  this  miracle  the  people  of 
the  town  began  to  hasten  forth,  and 
among  them  were  also  the  aforesaid 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua       101 

heretics;  the  which,  seeing  so  man- 
ifest and  marvellous  a  miracle,  felt 
their  hearts  sorely  pricked,  and  they 
fell  with  one  accord  at  St.  Anthony's 
feet  to  hear  his  word.  Then  St. 
Anthony  began  to  preach  of  the 
Catholic  faith;  and  so  nobly  did 
he  discourse  that  he  converted  all 
those  heretics  and  turned  them  to 
the  true  faith  of  Christ;  and  all 
the  faithful  were  comforted  with 
great  joy,  and  were  confirmed  in 
their  faith.  And  this  done,  St. 
Anthony  dismissed  the  fishes  with 
the  blessing  of  God;  and  they  all 
departed  with  marvellous  signs  of 
rejoicing,  and  likewise  the  people. 
And  then  St.  Anthony  stayed  in 
Rimini  for  many  days,  preaching 
and  reaping  a  spiritual  harvest  of 
souls. " 


102       The  Wonder-Worker  of  Padua 


XVI. 
ANTHONY   AND   THE    ISRAELITE. 

THERE  dwelt  at  Bourges,  the  capital 
of  Berry,  in  France,  an  Israelite 
who  was  of  all  Israelites  the  most 
bitter  foe  of  the  Catholic  Church. 
He  was  the  leader  of  the  anti- 
Christian  movement,  an  earnest 
worker  in  opposition  to  every  doc- 
trine that  Anthony  taught.  Guillard 
the  Jew  was  not  an  ignorant  and 
blind  bigot:  he  was  a  man  of  in- 
telligence, an  honest  doubter.  Often 
he  had  listened  to  the  preaching  of 
Anthony,  yet  he  was  not  convinced. 
Shall  we  not  say  that  it  was  his  mis- 
fortune rather  than  his  fault  that 
he  remained  without  the  fold  and 
persistently  assumed  an  attitude  of 
antagonism? 

The  dogma  of  the  real  presence  of 


The  Wonder-  W  or  her  of  Padua      103 

Our  Lord  in  the  Blessed  Sacrament 
was  naturally  his  chief  stumbling- 
block.  Much  he  could  accept  and 
much  consider  in  a  calm  spirit 
of  philosophical  inquiry;  but  the 
Eucharist,  transubstantiation — the 
perpetual  miracle — was  in  his  esti- 
mation past  belief.  For  this  miracle 
he  demanded  miraculous  proof. 

"The  Turk  does  not  question  the 
word  of  Mohammed,"  observed  An- 
thony to  this  fellow  of  Didimus  the 
Doubter;  "the  philosopher  accepts 
the  philosophy  of  Aristotle;  but 
you,  who  pride  yourself  upon  being 
a  worthy  Israelite,  will  not  accept 
the  testimony  of  the  Son  of  God." — 
"I  must  see  for  myself,  with  these 
very  eyes,  before  I  can  believe," 
replied  the  doubting  Thomas.  There 
are  many  who,  like  him,  must  put 
their  finger  in  the  wounds  before 
they  are  convinced  of  the  living 
truth. 

One  day  Guillard  said  to  Anthony : 
"Brother  Anthony,  if  by  some  tan- 
gible, outward  sign  you  can  confirm 


IO4       The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

the  truth  you  have  demonstrated 
by  reasoning,  I  will  abjure  my 
ancient  creed  and  embrace  yours. 
Do  you  consent?"  In  order  to  save 
a  soul  one  may  make  great  con- 
cessions; nor  was  it  beneath  the 
dignity  of  Anthony  to  offer  visible 
proof  to  an  anxious  and  inquiring 
eye.  "  I  consent,"  said  he. — "  I  have 
a  mule,"  added  the  Jew:  "I  will 
keep  him  for  three  days  under  lock 
and  key,  and  in  all  that  time  feed 
him  nothing.  At  the  end  of  the 
third  day  I  will  bring  him  to  the 
largest  public  square  in  the  city; 
and  there,  in  the  presence  of  all 
the  assembled  people,  I  will  offer 
him  a  feed  of  oats.  You,  on  the 
other  hand,  will  come  carrying  the 
Host,  which,  as  you  believe,  is  the 
true  body  of  the  Son  of  God.  If 
the  mule  refuses  the  proffered  food 
in  order  to  prostrate  himself  before 
the  monstrance,  I  will  become  a 
Catholic,  and  no  longer  question 
the  truth  of  the  doctrine  taught 
by  the  Catholic  Church." 


The  Wonder-Worker  of  Padua       105 

Here  was  a  direct  challenge,  and 
it  was  not  declined.  Anthony  felt 
that  his  victory  was  assured.  The 
reward  of  that  victory  was  an  im- 
mortal soul.  For  three  days  the 
young  apostle  devoted  himself  to 
fasting  and  prayer.  Not  for  one 
moment  did  he  lose  faith  in  the 
success  of  the  miracle  he  was  about 
to  work,  but  he  dared  not  attempt 
it  without  solemn  preparation.  Mean- 
while Guillard  and  his  companions 
were  so  sure  of  Anthony's  total 
defeat  and  discomfiture  that  there 
was  much  merriment  at  the  wonder- 
worker's expense;  and  the  interest 
in  the  approaching  test  increased 
from  hour  to  hour. 

The  eventful  day  arrived.  Guil- 
lard and  his  friends  trooped  into 
the  public  square  with  smiles  and 
laughter,  so  confident  were  they 
that  the  famishing  mule  would  in- 
stantly abandon  himself  to  his  oats. 
The  immense  throngs  who  had 
gathered  to  witness  the  impending 
spectacle  were  consumed  with  curi- 


io6       The  Wonder-Worker  of  Padua 

osity.  As  Anthony  slowly  ap- 
proached, bearing  reverently  the 
Sacred  Host,  his  eyes  cast  down,  his 
air  devotional,  a  great  hush  fell 
upon  the  multitude.  He  was  fol- 
lowed by  a  large  crowd  of  the  faith- 
ful, singing  canticles  and  whispering 
prayers. 

The  mule  was  then  led  forward, 
and  the  oats  laid  temptingly  before 
him.  At  that  moment  Anthony 
drew  near,  bearing  the  monstrance. 
Turning  toward  the  dumb  brute, 
he  exclaimed :  "In  the  name  of  thy 
Creator,  whose  body  I,  though  un- 
worthy, hold  in  my  hands,  I  enjoin 
and  command  thee,  O  being  de- 
prived of  reason!  to  come  hither 
instantly  and  prostrate  thyself  before 
thy  God;  so  that  by  this  sign 
unbelievers  may  know  that  all  crea- 
tion is  subject  to  the  Lamb  who  is 
daily  immolated  upon  our  altars." 
In  the  same  moment  Guillard  and 
his  friends  presented  the  oats  to 
the  famished  beast.  Without  taking 
the  smallest  notice  of  the  food,  the 


The  Wonder-Worker  of  Padua 

mule,  turning  away,  walked  to  the 
feet  of  Anthony,  and,  bending  his 
knees,  knelt  before  the  Blessed  Sacra- 
ment and  remained  there  in  an 
attitude  of  adoration. 

Great  was  the  enthusiasm  among 
the  faithful.  The  heretics  fled  away 
in  fright  and  hid  themselves  for 
shame;  they  dared  not  face  the 
one  who  had  proved  that  prayer  is 
more  powerful  than  the  laws  of 
nature.  Many  were  so  moved  by 
the  wondrous  spectacle  that,  though 
they  had  long  wandered  from  the 
path  of  duty,  they  returned  into 
the  fold.  Guillard  likewise  sought 
admission,  for  he  could  no  longer 
doubt;  and  with  him  came  his 
household.  He  publicly  attested  his 
faith,  and  in  gratitude  erected  a 
church  upon  the  spot  where  the 
miracle  had  taken  place;  and  that 
monument  endures  to  this  hour. 
As  late  as  1850  a  block  of  marble, 
carved  to  represent  a  mule  in  the 
attitude  of  devotion,  was  discovered 
in  the  wall  of  the  facade  of  the 


io8       The  Wonder-Worker  of  Padua 

church  built  by  Guillard,  and  con- 
secrated in  1231  by  Archbishop 
Simon  de  Sully. 

Pierre  Rosset,  a  Doctor  of  the 
University  of  Paris  and  a  poet  of 
the  fifteenth  century;  Wadding,  in 
his  "Annals  of  the  Friars  Minor"; 
and  Benedict  Mazzara,  in  his  "Fran- 
ciscan Legends,"  bear  witness  to 
the  authenticity  of  this  memorial 
of  a  miracle.  Toulouse  and  Rimini 
claim  a  like  honor  with  Bourges, 
and  there  are  those  who  have  be- 
lieved that  the  miracle  was  repeated. 
The  evidence  is  cloudy  and  con- 
flicting in  these  cases,  but  there  is  no 
shadow  of  doubt  that  Anthony  the 
wonder-worker  worked  that  wonder 
in  the  ancient  city  of  Bourges;  and 
that  Guillard  the  Israelite  then  and 
there  built  the  Church  of  St.  Peter 
in  honor  of  his  glorious  conversion. 


The  Wonder-Worker  of  Padua       109 


XVII. 

ANTHONY   AND   THE    CHRIST-CHILD. 

LET  us  not  be  disconcerted  if  we 
find  several  cities  contending  for  the 
honor  to  which  one  only  is  entitled. 
Since  Homer's  death  it  has  been 
the  fate  of  the  distinguished  poet 
to  be  claimed  by  many  and  various 
peoples  as  father,  brother,  son; 
though  while  living  in  obscurity 
the  devoted  soul  was  suffered  to 
endure  neglect.  It  is  not  surprising 
that  the  miracles  of  Anthony  have 
not  always  been  definitely  located. 
Some  of  them  may  have  been  re- 
peated in  two  or  more  localities. 
Tradition  is  more  or  less  elastic; 
it  sometimes  grows  with  what  it 
feeds  on.  What  is  of  utmost  im- 
portance is  the  proof  of  a  miracle; 
it  matters  less  where  it  actually 
took  place. 


j  jo       The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

In  Anthony  we  see  embodied  the 
beauty  of  holiness.  There  is  one 
who  has  borne  witness  to  the  truth 
of  this,  for  he  was  an  eye-witness. 
The  blessed  privilege  he  enjoyed 
should  have  immortalized  him,  and 
yet  the  authorities  are  not  united 
as  to  his  identity. 

Anthony  founded  the  monastery 
of  Arcella  Vecchia,  without  the  walls, 
about  a  mile  distant  from  Padua. 
There  he  loved  to  dwell;  but  as 
his  duties  called  him  into  the  city 
daily,  and  when  preaching  or  hear- 
ing confessions  in  the  evening  he 
was  often  detained  until  the  city 
gates  were  closed,  he  found  it  neces- 
sary to  seek  a  lodging  which  he 
could  occupy  at  his  leisure.  This 
he  found,  as  Azevedo  informs  us, 
at  the  house  of  Tiso,  or  Tisone,  one 
of  the  ancient  family  of  counts  of 
Camposampiero,  famous  in  the 
records  of  their  time. 

That  a  miracle  was  performed 
somewhere  no  chronicler  doubts; 
but  Azevedo  seems  to  have  had 


The  Wonder-Worker  of  Padua      in 

insufficient  proof  of  the  grounds  for 
his  statement  that  it  took  place  in 
Padua.  Wadding,  on  the  other  hand, 
does  not  attempt  to  locate  it;  but 
Father  Bonaventure  de  St.  Amable, 
a  Carmelite  of  the  seventeenth  cen- 
tury, on  the  authority  of  ancient 
documents  existing  in  his  time,  names 
without  hesitation  Chateauneuf — the 
modern  Chateauneuf  -  la  -  Foret — as 
the  hallowed  spot.  The  legend  is 
perhaps  the  best  known  in  the  life 
of  the  Saint,  as  it  is  certainly  the 
most  beautiful;  and  it  has  been  a 
favorite  subject  for  the  art  of  the 
best  masters  during  the  last  eight 
hundred  years. 

Accepting  the  hospitality  of  the 
Lord  of  Chateauneuf,  who,  accord- 
ing to  the  "Annals  de  Limousin," 
dearly  loved  St.  Anthony  and  his 
holy  Order,  he  retired  to  his  chamber 
and  began  the  prayerful  vigil  that 
usually  extended  far  into  the  night. 
His  host,  who  was  in  an  adjoining 
apartment,  was  startled  by  a  light 
as  of  a  conflagration  that  poured 


j  12       The  Wonder-Worker  of  Padua 

from  under  the  door  of  Anthony's 
room.  Hastening  to  the  door,  but 
fearing  to  enter  lest  he  should  dis- 
turb his  guest,  he  listened  for  a 
few  moments.  Hearing  voices,  he 
became  agitated;  and,  riveting  his 
eye  at  a  crevice,  he  beheld  a  vision 
that  filled  him  with  awe  and  wonder. 
Anthony  knelt  at  a  table  where 
a  large  volume  lay  open;  upon  the 
volume,  or  above  it,  stood  a  child 
of  such  surpassing  loveliness  that 
the  gazer's  heart  leaped  within  him, 
and  his  lips  would  have  cried  out 
for  joy  but  that  some  mysterious 
influence  enjoined  silence  upon  him. 
The  body  of  the  infant  was  efful- 
gent: a  soft  glow  was  diffused  on 
every  side.  The  lustre  of  that  counte- 
nance was  ineffable.  The  radiant 
being  seemingly  reposed  upon  the 
air;  and,  from  a  soft  veil  of  vapor 
that  emitted  a  celestial  fragrance, 
he  leaned  fondly  upon  the  bosom  of 
the  friar,  and  with  hands  of  exquisite 
loveliness  delicately  caressed  him. 
Soft  music,  mingled  with  voices  of 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua       113 

heavenly  tenderness  and  the  flutter 
of  invisible  wings,  betokened  the 
presence  of  angelic  visitors. 

The  child,  who  was  the  Christ- 
Child,  whispered  in  the  ear  of  An- 
thony; and,  as  the  Saint  turned  to 
the  door,  the  master  of  Chateauneuf 
knew  that  his  presence  was  detected. 
So  when  Anthony  met  him  on  the 
morrow  these  words  passed  beween 
them;  the  Limousin  chronicler  re- 
cords them  in  their  brevity  and 
simplicity:  "Father,  what  did  Our 
Lord  say  to  you?"— "He  revealed 
to  me  that  your  house  will  flourish 
and  enjoy  great  prosperity  so  long 
as  it  remains  faithful  to  Mother 
Church;  but  that  it  will  be  over- 
whelmed with  misfortune  and  be- 
come extinct  when  it  goes  over  to 
heresy." 

In  the  seventeenth  century  the 
then  Lord  of  Chateauneuf  espoused 
the  cause  of  the  Calvinists,  and  in 
the  fall  of  that  house  the  prophecy 
was  fulfilled.  As  for  Anthony,  one 
ever  associates  him  with  the  Christ- 


i  14       The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

Child  who  nestles  in  his  arms.  From 
the  holy  visitations  of  the  Divine 
Infant  he  gathered  inspiration,  and 
it  was  he  who  said:  "The  Sacred 
Heart  is  a  fountain  of  supernatural 
life;  a  golden  altar  whereon  is 
burning,  night  and  day  forever, 
incense  that  ascends  in  clouds  of 
fragrance  toward  the  skies  and 
envelops  and  embalms  the  earth." 


The  W onder-W orker  of  Padua       115 


XVIII. 

S.    A.    G. 

SOME  folk  think  the  letters  are 
mystical.  Though  their  significance 
is  known  to  many,  there  are  very 
many  more  to  whom  they  convey 
no  meaning.  You  will  usually  find 
them,  if  they  are  visible,  on  the 
addressed  side  of  an  envelope,  down 
in  the  lower  left-hand  corner.  I 
say  when  they  are  visible;  for  some 
who  use  them  seem  afraid  to  use 
them  openly,  and  so  the  letters  are 
written  in  the  ^  upper  right-hand 
corner  of  the  envelope,  where  the 
postage-stamp  covers  them ;  or  they 
are  inscribed  on  the  underside  of 
the  lapel  of  the  envelope,  and  hidden 
away. 

It  is  a  pretty  cult,  a  sweet  devo- 
tion, a  symbol  of  faith  and  trust; 
and  its  votaries,  who  were  shy 


ii  6       The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

enough  at  first — and  perhaps  with 
reason,  for  bigotry  was  rampant 
but  a  few  years  ago, — now  grow 
bolder;  and  their  numbers  multiply 
daily,  hourly,  and  are  scattered 
even  unto  the  four  quarters  of  the 
globe. 

S.  A.  G.!  What  do  these  letters 
stand  for?  The  question  has  been 
asked  me  a  thousand  times.  Per- 
haps the  letters,  down  in  their  cozy 
corner,  were  passed  unnoticed  for 
a  time;  then  it  was  discovered  that 
they  were  not  the  initials  of  the 
writer;  interest  was  now  excited, 
and  at  last  curiosity  refused  to  be 
satisfied  until  the  mystery  was 
solved. 

S.  A.  G.!  St.  Anthony  guide;  or, 
St.  Anthony  guard.  But  why  St. 
Anthony  guide?  It  is  the  peculiar 
privilege  of  the  Saint  to  guard  and 
guide  all  travellers,  and  especially 
all  toilers  of  the  sea  and  all  who 
are  exposed  to  the  peril  of  wind  and 
wave.  He  is  the  rescuer  and  restorer 
of  the  "lost,  strayed,  or  stolen." 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua       117 

Not  a  day  passes,  not  an  hour,  but 
voices  of  the  distressed  are  crying 
to  him  for  help  in  a  search  after 
something  that  is  mislaid.  And  they 
do  not  cry  in  vain.  There  is  testi- 
mony enough  in  proof  of  this  to 
fill  a  library. 

Is  it  a  foolish  office  to  heed  these 
sometimes  trivial  requests?  Every 
answer  is  an  answer  to  prayer,  and 
the  answer  to  prayer  is  the  bulwark 
of  our  faith.  Thus  the  wonder- 
worker works  a  perpetual  wonder; 
it  is  an  incessant  miracle,  that  brings 
joy  to  myriads  of  grateful  hearts. 

Every  year  the  number  of  letters 
placed  under  the  guidance  of  dear 
St.  Anthony  increases.  The  writers 
of  letters  who  use  the  initials  S.  A.  G. 
seem  to  have  formed  an  involuntary 
brotherhood;  they  are  unconscious 
members  of  another  order  of  St. 
Francis,  who  thus  proclaim,  even 
unto  the  ends  of  the  earth,  their 
absolute  faith  in  St.  Anthony  and 
his  readiness  to  aid  them.  That  he 
has  a  special  interest  in  the  trans- 


n8       The  Wonder-Worker  of  Padua 

portation  of  written  messages  is 
twice  proved  in  his  own  case.  The 
facts  read  like  fairy  tales — but,  then, 
let  us  remember  his  life  was  one 
long  fairy  tale  filled  full  of  wonders. 
Anthony,  on  one  occasion  being 
greatly  in  need  of  rest,  wished  to 
retire  for  a  little  season  to  a  solitude 
about  ten  miles  from  Padua,  known 
as  Campo  San  Pietro.  With  this 
end  in  view,  he  wrote  to  his  minister 
provincial  begging  that  he  might 
be  permitted  to  repair  thither.  The 
letter  written  he  went  to  the  superior 
of  the  monastery  and  asked  that 
some  trusty  messenger  be  charged 
with  the  delivery  of  his  letter,  and 
his  request  was  at  once  granted. 
Returning  to  his  cell  to  procure  the 
letter  and  deliver  it  to  the  messen- 
ger, he  found  it  had  disappeared. 
He  searched  for  it  in  vain.  Unable 
to  find  it,  he  took  it  as  a  sign  that 
his  duty  lay  where  he  was,  and  he 
dismissed  all  thoughts  of  visiting 
Campo  San  Pietro.  Shortly  after- 
ward, turning  again  to  his  desk 


The  Wonder-Worker  of  Padua       119 

where  he  had  left  the  letter,  he 
found  the  answer  lying  there, — the 
answer  written  by  his  minister  pro- 
vincial, and  freely  granting  his  re- 
quest. Was  it  a  celestial  messenger 
that  favored  him?  It  is  now  An- 
thony's turn  to  favor  one  of  his 
devoted  clients. 

In  1729  Antonio  Dante,  a  Spanish 
merchant,  left  Spain  for  South  Amer- 
ica and  established  his  business  in 
Lima,  Peru.  His  wife,  who  remained 
in  Spain,  wrote  to  him  repeatedly 
without  receiving  a  reply.  In  great 
anxiety  she  went  one  day  to  the 
Church  of  St.  Francis,  at  Oviedo; 
here  was  a  large  statue  of  St.  An- 
thony. She  had  with  her  a  letter 
addressed  to  her  absent  husband. 
In  all  simplicity  and  with  perfect 
confidence,  she  placed  that  letter 
in  the  hands  of  the  statue  and  said: 
"St.  Anthony,  I  pray  thee  let  this 
letter  reach  him,  and  obtain  for 
me  a  speedy  reply. " 

The  next  day  she  returned  to 
renew  her  prayer.  Seeing  a  letter 


I2O      The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

still  in  his  hands,  and  believing  it 
to  be  the  one  she  had  placed  there, 
the  poor  soul  began  to  weep;  and, 
crying  aloud,  she  said:  "St.  An- 
thony, why  have  you  kept  the  letter 
which  I  wrote  to  my  husband, 
instead  of  sending  it  to  him,  as  I 
asked  you?"  Her  boisterous  grief 
attracted  the  attention  of  the  Brother 
sacristan,  who  came  to  ask  the  cause 
of  it.  When  he  had  heard  her 
story  he  said:  "I  have  in  vain 
tried  to  take  that  letter  from  the 
hand  of  St.  Anthony.  See  if  he  will 
give  it  to  you.  She  took  the  letter 
from  the  hand  of  the  image  without 
difficulty,  and  at  the  same  moment 
there  fell  from  the  sleeve  of  the 
statue  three  hundred  golden  coins. 
The  amazed  sacristan  hastened  into 
the  adjoining  monastery,  called  the 
friars  into  the  church,  where  the 
bewildered  woman  was  still  waiting; 
and  in  their  presence,  before  the 
high  altar,  the  letter  was  opened 
and  read.  It  ran  as  follows: 


The  Wonder-Worker  of  Padua       121 

LIMA,  July  23,  1729. 

MY  DEAR  WIFE: — For  some  time 
I  have  been  expecting  a  letter  from 
you,  and  been  in  great  trouble  at 
not  hearing  from  you.  At  last 
your  letter  has  come,  and  given  me 
joy.  It  was  a  Father  of  the  Order 
of  St.  Francis  who  brought  it  to 
me.  You  complain  that  I  have  left 
your  letters  unanswered.  I  assure 
you  that  when  I  received  none  I 
believed  you  to  be  dead.  So  you 
may  imagine  my  happiness  at  the 
arrival  of  your  last  one.  I  answer 
by  the  same  religious,  and  send  you 
three  hundred  golden  crowns,  which 
will  suffice  for  your  support  until 
my  approaching  return.  In  the  hope 
of  soon  being  with  you,  I  pray  God 
for  you,  commend  myself  to  my 
dear  patron  St.  Anthony,  and  ar- 
dently desire  that  you  may  continue 
to  send  me  tidings  of  yourself. 
Your  most  affectionate, 

ANTONIO  DANTE. 

The    original    letter,    written    in 
Spanish,  is  preserved  at  Oviedo. 


122       The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 


XIX. 

ANTHONY   AT   PADUA. 

ANTHONY  had  long  been  a  wanderer. 
From  Portugal  he  travelled  into 
Spain,  Morocco,  Sicily.  He  jour- 
neyed from  Messina  to  Assisi;  from 
Assisi  to  Monte  Paolo,  Toulouse, 
Puy-en-Valey,  Limoges,  Rome,  Ri- 
mini, Venice,  Ferrara,  Mantua,  and 
elsewhere.  But  of  all  the  cities  he 
visited  and  of  all  the  peoples  he 
ministered  unto,  his  name  was  des- 
tined to  become  associated  with 
Padua  and  the  Paduans. 

The  Padua  of  to-day  is  not  the 
Padua  of  old:  it  is  naturally  more 
or  less  modernized;  yet,  happily, 
a  delightful  flavor  of  antiquity  still 
abides  there,  and  is  perceptible  in 
all  its  nooks  and  corners.  When 
I  first  visited  Padua  I  was  a  pilgrim 
and  a  stranger.  One  may  be  ever 


The  Wonder-Worker  of  Padua      123 

a  pilgrim  in  that  hallowed  land, 
but  never  twice  a  stranger.  Alight- 
ing at  the  station,  I  wandered 
through  the  streets,  suffering  myself 
to  be  piloted — by  my  Good  Angel 
it  may  have  been — till  I  came  to 
the  inn  with  the  sign  of  the  Three 
White  Crosses,  and  I  abode  there. 
The  fifty  thousand  people  of  Padua 
left  me  to  myself,  and  I  went  my 
way  as  if  I  were  invisible  to  any. 
This  shrine  seems  to  be  the  least 
commercial  of  them  all,  and  yet 
it  is  one  of  the  most  famous  and  the 
most  popular. 

How  soon  one  does  Padua  as  a 
tourist:  devouring  it,  as  it  were; 
bolting  it  as  the  hungry  sight-seer 
bolts  everything  visible!  Of  course 
there  is  a  memory  and  an  indiges- 
tion after  all  is  over,  and  the  fagged 
tourist  packs  himself  home  and  sits 
down  to  think.  One  does  it  in  a 
day — so  much  of  Padua  as  is  in  the 
guidebook.  There  is  a  memory  of 
lovely  churches  and  the  tombs  of 
saints,  and  old  walls  covered  with 


124       The  W onder-W orker  of  Padua 

very  ancient  frescoes  and  other  works 
of  art, — here  Giotto  was  in  his  glory. 
And  there  is  a  memory  of  a  host  of 
college  boys  wandering  to  and  fro 
with  their  arms  upon  one  another's 
shoulders.  A  world-famous  Uni- 
versity, that  has  been  flourishing 
half  a  thousand  years,  is  located 
here. 

Somehow,  one  can  not  help  think- 
ing of  Enrico  and  his  Italian  ' '  School- 
Boy 's  Journal" —that  most  charm- 
ing of  the  works  of  De  Amicis— 
when  one  falls  in  with  these  Paduan 
students,  with  their  troubadour  faces 
and  airs  and  graces — albeit  they  are 
not  half  so  interesting  as  little  En- 
rico. Oh,  the  power,  the  beauty, 
the  fervor  and  the  pathos  of  that 
book — "Cuore,"  by  Edmondo  de 
Amicis!  Read  it  if  you  have  not 
read  it;  there  you  will  see  the  heart 
of  Young  Italy  laid  bare. 

The  great  circular  piazza  of  the 
city  is  wreathed  with  a  double  row 
of  statues,  commemorating  in  marble 
the  famous — or  perhaps  in  some 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua       125 

cases  the  infamous — graduates  of 
the  memorable  University. 

In  Anthony's  day  Padua  was  a 
very  different  town.  Now  it  lan- 
guishes in  its  comfortable  age;  then 
it  was  the  abode  of  luxury,  the  haunt 
of  vice.  Debauchery  and  usury 
flourished;  family  feuds  were  rife, 
and  God  was  forgotten.  At  Rimini, 
Bourges,  Toulouse,  Anthony  had 
warred  against  heresy;  at  Padua 
it  was  the  sensuous  and  sensual 
and  dissolute  life  of  the  people  he 
was  called  upon  to  reform.  Fear- 
lessly he  struck  at  the  root  of  the 
evil;  face  to  face  he  attacked  the 
depravity  of  those  high  in  office; 
hand  to  hand  he  wrestled  with  every 
obstacle  that  was  raised  before  him, 
and  overthrew  them  each  and  all. 
He  was  gentle,  but  firm;  and  his 
manner  was  so  majestic,  his  argu- 
ment so  convincing,  and  his  denun- 
ciation so  terrible,  that  no  one 
could  long  withstand  him. 

He  put  an  end  to  the  most  pain- 
ful family  contentions,  and  to  the 


126       The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

scandalous  quarrels  of  political  fac- 
tions. Guelph  and  Ghibelline  were 
reconciled;  those  who  had  been 
long  estranged  fell  upon  one  another's 
necks  and  exchanged  the  kiss  of 
peace.  Those  who  seemed  unap- 
proachable were  approached  by  him; 
those  who  were  deaf  to  all  others 
gave  him  an  attentive  ear. 

Sixty-four  years  after  his  con- 
version by  St.  Anthony,  a  once 
notorious  brigand  gave  to  the  Friars 
Minor  the  following  remarkable  nar- 
rative of  his  personal  experience: 

"I  was  a  brigand  by  profession 
and  one  of  a  band  of  robbers.  There 
were  twelve  of  us  living  in  the  forest, 
whence  we  issued  to  waylay  travel- 
lers and  commit  every  kind  of  de- 
predation. The  reputation  of  An- 
thony, his  preaching  and  his  miracu- 
lous deeds,  penetrated  even  to  our 
ears  in  the  depths  of  the  forest. 
Rumor  compared  him  to  the  Prophet 
Elias.  It  was  said  his  words  were 
so  ardent  and  efficacious  as  to  re- 
semble the  spark  that  falling  into 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

the  sheaves  of  corn  sets  them  aflame 
and  consumes  them. 

"We  resolved  to  disperse  ourselves 
one  day  amongst  the  crowd  in  order 
to  test  the  truth  of  these  assertions. 
While  he  spoke  another  voice  seemed 
to  resound  in  our  ears — the  voice  of 
remorse.  After  the  sermon  all  the 
twelve  of  us,  contrite  and  repentant, 
threw  ourselves  at  his  feet.  He 
called  down  upon  us  the  divine 
pardon,  but  not  without  warning 
us  that  if  we  unfortunately  relapsed 
into  our  old  ways  we  should  perish 
miserably.  This  prediction  was  veri- 
fied. A  few  did  relapse,  and  ended 
their  days  on  the  gallows.  Those 
who  persevered  fell  asleep  in  the 
peace  of  the  Lord. 

"As  for  myself,  St.  Anthony  im- 
posed upon  me  the  penance  of  mak- 
ing a  pilgrimage  twelve  times  to  the 
tomb  of  the  Apostles.  To-day  I 
have  completed  my  twelfth  visit; 
and  I  feel  confident  that,  according 
to  his  promise  and  through  his 
merits,  I  shall  meet  him  above/' 


128       The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

The  chronicle  adds:  "Tears  and 
sobs  interrupted  the  old  man's  last 
words." 

Anthony  is  the  glory  of  Padua, 
and  gloriously  has  Padua  enshrined 
him.  In  all  her  strange,  eventful 
history  there  is  no  name  that  shines 
like  his.  He  was  one  of  the  two  who 
did  more  for  the  enlightenment, 
the  humanizing  and  the  harmonizing 
of  the  hordes  of  the  Middle  Ages 
than  all  the  rest  besides. 

Frederic  Morin,  in  his  "St.  Fran- 
cois et  les  Franciscains,"  says: 
"Modern  Europe  has  no  idea  of  all 
it  owes  to  St.  Francis  of  Assisi." 
Montalembert  has  proved  by  indis- 
putable facts  that  "the  victory  of 
Christianity  over  neo-paganism  in 
the  Middle  Ages  was  chiefly  due  to 
the  gallant  efforts  of  the  two  new 
religious  bodies  that  sprang  up  in 
the  thirteenth  century." 

In  the  introduction  of  his  life  of 
"St.  Elizabeth  of  Hungary"  Monta- 
lembert says:  "The  children  of  St. 
Dominic  and  St.  Francis  spread 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua       129 

themselves  over  Italy  (then  torn 
by  so  many  disorders),  striving  to 
reconcile  rival  factions,  to  vindicate 
truth  and  confute  error;  acting  as 
supreme  arbitrators,  yet  judging  all 
things  in  a  spirit  of  charity.  In 
1233  they  could  be  seen  traversing 
the  peninsula,  armed  with  crosses, 
incense,  and  olive  branches;  up- 
braiding the  cities  and  princes  with 
their  crimes  and  enmities;  and  the 
people,  for  a  time  at  least,  bowed 
before  this  sublime  mediation."  Ce- 
sare  Cantu,  in  his  "Histoire  Univer- 
selle,"  adds:  "At  the  head  of  the 
peacemakers  we  must  place  St. 
Francis  of  Assisi  and  his  disciple, 
St.  Anthony  of  Padua. " 

Anthony  preached  peace  and  he 
restored  it.  His  constant  cry  was: 
"No  more  war;  no  more  hatred 
and  bloodshed,  but  peace !  God  wills 
it!"  And  there  was  peace.  He  was 
not  quite  alone  in  his  noble  efforts 
toward  the  reconciliation  of  all  man- 
kind: the  parish  clergy,  the  sons 
of  St.  Benedict  and  St.  Dominic, 


130       The^  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

as  well  as  the  sons  of  St.  Francis, 
rallied  at  his  call  and  mustered  under 
his  generalship.  It  was  a  holy  war 
and  a  triumphant  one.  Among  these 
soldiers  of  the  Cross  was  one  Luke 
Belludi,  a  preacher  of  eloquence 
and  power,  who  received  the  habit 
from  St.  Francis  himself,  and  who 
was  one  of  Anthony's  most  devoted 
followers.  His  ashes  lie  buried  by 
the  side  of  those  of  the  Saint  he 
loved,  in  that  wonderful  shrine  in 
Padua. 

He  had  his  willing  workers  there 
in  Padua  and  elsewhere,  but  the 
burden  fell  upon  the  shoulders  of 
Anthony.  And  what  a  burden  of 
responsibility  of  patient  endurance, 
of  calm  judgment  and  wise  and 
deliberate  action  it  was!  Yet  all 
the  while  he  was  devoted  to  his 
mission:  day  and  night  he  was  in 
the  pulpit  or  the  confessional,  or 
by  the  bedside  of  the  sick  and  dying ; 
and  none  of  the  thousand  cares  of 
the  sacred  ministry  was  neglected 
by  him.  Ever  forgetful  of  self,  it 


The  Wonder-Worker  of  Padua       131 

is  said  that  often  and  often  he  would 
toil  until  evening  with  no  other 
nourishment,  and  no  thought  of  other 
nourishment,  than  the  Blessed  Bread 
he  had  received  from  the  altar  at 
dawn.  And  all  this  was  for  the  love 
of  his  people,  for  the  honor  of  Padua 
and  the  greater  glory  of  God. 


1 32       The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 


XX. 

THE    PASSING   OF   ANTHONY. 

ANTHONY  having  chosen  Padua  as 
his  place  of  residence,  because,  as 
his  biographer,  John  Peckham,  says, 
"of  the  faith  of  its  inhabitants,  their 
attachment  to  him,  and  their  devo- 
tion to  the  Friars  Minor,"  he  there 
ended  his  life-work  in  his  thirty- 
sixth  year  of  grace. 

How  he  loved  Padua !  A  fortnight 
before  his  death,  having  ascended 
a  hill  overshadowing  the  city,  he 
gazed  down  upon  it  in  all  its  beauty ; 
and,  stretching  forth  his  hands  above 
its  marble  palaces,  its  domes,  and 
lofty  bell-towers,  embosomed  in 
bower  of  foliage;  while  the  incense 
of  its  blossoming  gardens  was  wafted 
to  him,  and  the  ripening  corn-fields 
and  the  vineyards  framed  it  all  in 
a  frame  of  gold  and  green  and 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

purple,  he  exclaimed  in  rapture: 
"Blessed  be  thou,  O  Padua,  for  the 
beauty  of  thy  site!  Blessed  be  thou 
for  the  harvest  of  thy  fields !  Blessed 
also  shalt  .thou  be  for  the  honor 
with  which  Heaven  is  about  to 
crown  thee ! ' '  What  honor?  At  that 
moment,  in  a  vision,  he  beheld  the 
celestial  city,  and  through  the  gates 
of  Padua  the  beloved  his  soul  was  to 
pass  hence  forever. 

It  was  while  on  his  way  to  the 
heights  of  Campo  San  Pietro,  a 
few  miles  from  Padua,  passing 
through  a  wood,  the  property  of 
his  friend  Don  Tiso,  Anthony  dis- 
covered a  walnut-tree  of  gigantic 
proportions;  here  was  deep  shadow, 
layer  upon  layer,  among  branches 
as  large  as  the  rafters  of  a  hall. 
Nothing  could  be  more  inviting;  for 
only  the  birds  nested  there,  while 
the  butterflies  fluttered  in  the  sun- 
shine that  environed  it.  It  was  a 
green  island  in  a  golden  sea;  a 
place  of  refuge  and  refreshment  for 
the  world-weary. 


134       The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

Having  foreknowledge  of  his  death, 
Anthony  bethought  him  of  this  re- 
treat. With  pliant  boughs  he  wove 
a  wall  of  verdure,  and  fashioned 
a  little  cell  between  earth  and 
heaven, — the  daintiest  oratory  that 
ever  was,  and  a  couch  for  one  who 
was  in  the  world  but  not  of  it.  The 
old  masters  have  pictured  him  as 
in  a  nest  among  the  spreading 
branch,  and  have  painted  him  with 
childlike  simplicity  as  brooding  there. 
Probably  his  leafy  cell  was  a  little 
heaven  of  detachment,  where  nothing 
ever  broke  in  upon  his  meditations. 
His  faithful  allies,  Brother  Luke 
Belludi  and  Brother  Roger,  kept 
watch  with  him, — two  silent  sen- 
tinels standing  between  him  and 
the  outer  world. 

Once  a  day  he  descended  from 
his  airy  solitude  and  broke  bread 
with  the  two  Brothers  who  attended 
him;  it  seemed  to  be  more  a  matter 
of  form  than  of  necessity.  He  no 
longer  was  of  the  earth  as  we  are, 
but  was  a  spirit  bearing  about  a 


The  Wonder-Worker  of  Padua      135 

fragile  shell  of  clay  that  was  soon 
to  be  laid  aside,  a  useless  and  aban- 
doned thing.  His  waking  hours 
were  passed  in  prayer  and  in  the 
completion  of  his  commentaries.  He 
spoke  not,  nor  was  he  ever  known 
to  smile :  he  was  absorbed  in  prepa- 
ration for  his  final  flight. 

One  day,  when  he  had  descended 
to  break  his  fast  with  his  companions, 
he  fainted  at  their  rustic  board.  At 
first  the  Brothers  thought  him  in 
ecstasy — for  his  ecstasies  were  fre- 
quent now;  but,  seeing  the  shadow 
of  death  upon  him,  they  hastened 
to  assist  him  to  a  couch  of  green 
shoots  close  at  hand.  Having  re- 
covered consciousness,  and  seeing 
the  Brothers  bending  over  him  in 
tears,  he  begged  that  he  might  at 
once  be  taken  to  the  monastery  at 
Padua,  there  to  die  among  his 
brethren,  supported  by  their  pres- 
ence and  their  prayers.  He  was 
tenderly  placed  in  a  passing  peasant's 
cart,  and  the  sad  procession  started. 
But  so  great  was  his  exhaustion 


The  Wonder-Worker  of  Padua 

when  they  reached  Arcella — the  Con- 
vent of  Poor  Clares,  near  the  gates 
of  the  city, — that  the  Brothers  be- 
sought him  to  alight  there  to  seek 
the  rest  he  stood  so  much  in  need 
of.  With  difficulty  he  was  assisted 
into  a  small  hospice  adjoining  the 
convent,  where  dwelt  three  or  four 
Friars  Minor  who  acted  as  chaplains 
to  the  daughters  of  St.  Clare. 

By  this  time  Anthony  was  begin- 
ning to  lose  consciousness;  but, 
recovering  himself  for  a  little  while, 
he  made  his  last  confession.  When 
the  friars  proposed  to  anoint  him 
he  said:  "I  already  possess  that 
unction  within  myself;  but  it  is 
good  to  receive  it  outwardly/' 

While  Extreme  Unction  was  being 
administered  he  recited  with  the 
brethren  prayers  for  the  dying  and 
the  Penitential  Psalms,  and  received 
the  absolution.  Then,  filled  with  a 
heavenly  joy  that  was  like  an  ecstasy, 
to  the  wonder  of  those  about  him, 
he  sang  alone,  and  in  a  clear,  full 
voice,  his  favorite  hymn: 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

O  gloriosa  Domina 
Excelsa  super  sidera, 
Qui  te  creavit  provide 
Lactasti  sacro  ubere. 

Quod  Eva  tristis  abstulit, 
Tu  reddis  almo  germine: 
Intrent  ut  astra  flebiles, 
Cceli  fenestra  facta  es. 

Tu  Regis  alti  janua, 
Et  porta  lucis  fulgida: 
Vitam  datam  per  Virginem, 
Gentes  redemptae,  plaudite. 

Gloria  tibi,   Domine, 
Qui  natus  es  de  Virgine, 
Cum  Patre  et  Sancto  Spiritu 
In  sempiterna  saecula. 

Having  ceased  singing,  he  raised 
his  eyes  to  heaven  with  a  gaze  that 
startled  his  companions;  it  was  as 
if  those  eyes  were  filled  with  some 
wondrous  vision.  Brother  Roger, 
in  whose  arms  he  was  supported, 
said:  "What  do  you  see?"  And 
Anthony  answered,  still  gazing  in 
rapture :  "I  behold  my  God ! ' '  For 
about  half  an  hour  he  was  lost  in 
contemplation  of  the  beatific  vision; 


138       The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

and  then,  like  a  weary  child,  he 
fell  into  a  deep  sleep — and  woke  no 
more. 

At  the  moment  when  his  soul  was 
set  free  from  its  earthly  tabernacle 
Anthony  appeared  to  Don  Thomas, 
the  Abbot  of  St.  Andrew's  at  Ver- 
celli,  who  was  at  the  time  sitting 
alone  in  the  room.  His  former  pupil 
entered  and  said  to  him:  "See, 
Father  Abbot,  I  have  left  my 
burden  near  the  gates  of  Padua, 
and  am  hastening  to  mine  own 
country."  He  then  passed  his  hand 
caressingly  across  the  throat  of  the 
Abbot,  who  was  suffering  from  a 
severe  chronic  affliction;  and  the 
throat  was  permanently  cured. 
Thereupon  Anthony  disappeared. 

The  Abbot,  surprised  at  the  sudden 
entrance  and  the  exit  of  Anthony, 
hastened  after  him  to  beg  him  to 
remain  a  little  while  a  guest;  but, 
throwing  open  the  door  of  his 
chamber,  no  Anthony  was  visible. 
Those  who  were  waiting  in  the  ante- 
chamber had  seen  nothing  of  him; 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua       739 

nor  had  any  one  at  St.  Andrew's, 
save  the  Abbot,  any  knowledge  of 
Anthony.  Then  the  Abbot  knew 
that  the  burden  Anthony  had  left 
at  Padua  was  his  body;  and  that 
the  home  to  which  he  was  hasten- 
ing was  not  Portugal,  but  Paradise. 

Efforts  were  made  to  keep  An- 
thony's death  a  secret.  He  was  the 
popular  idol  of  all  Italy,  and  not 
alone  of  Italy:  he  had  wielded 
greater  personal  influence  than  al- 
most any  man  of  his  time.  He  was 
not  only  respected  by  the  masses, 
but  he  was  listened  to  with  rapt 
attention  by  the  representatives  of 
all  classes,  from  the  peer  to  the 
peasant.  He  was  loved  by  all, 
reverenced  by  all;  he  was  fairly 
worshipped  by  the  vast  multitude  of 
his  faithful  followers.  And,  there- 
fore, it  was  deemed  wise  to  keep 
his  death  a  secret — for  a  time  at 
least, — lest  the  populace  should  be 
distracted  and  demoralized  by  so 
terrible  a  blow. 

Man   proposes!     Hardly   had   his 

10 


140       The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

bright  spirit  taken  its  flight  when 
the  children  of  Padua — the  children 
he  so  dearly  loved, — as  if  inspired, 
rushed  about  the  streets  in  a  kind 
of  frenzy,  crying  out:  "Our  Saint 
is  dead!  St.  Anthony  is  dead!" 
Consternation  followed;  the  whole 
city  was  plunged  in  desperate  grief; 
and  still  worse  was  to  follow. 

The  body  of  Anthony  was  a 
precious  treasure  coveted  by  all. 
As  the  dying  gaze  of  St.  Francis 
rested  upon  Assisi,  the  city  of  his 
soul,  whose  portals  he  was  not  again 
permitted  to  enter  in  the  flesh,  so 
Anthony,  homesick  and  heart-sick 
for  his  Padua,  gave  up  the  ghost 
without  her  gates.  Had  Anthony 
entered  the  city  and  breathed  his 
last  in  the  monastery  of  his  Order, 
there  could  have  arisen  no  question 
as  to  the  ultimate  disposition  of  his 
remains.  But  he  fell  by  the  way- 
side, as  it  were;  therefore  the  Poor 
Clares,  in  whose  humble  hospice  he 
died,  claimed  the  honor  of  enshrining 
his  remains;  so  did  his  brethren,  the 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua      141 

Friars  Minor  of  Padua;  so  also 
did  the  suburbs  and  the  magistracy 
of  Padua  promptly  forward  their 
claims.  Thus  it  happened  that  the 
body  of  the  Saint  who  strove  to 
bring  peace  into  the  world  once 
more,  became  the  source  of  violent 
contention. 

John  Peckham  describes  the  grief 
of  the  Poor  Clares  at  the  death  of 
Anthony.  "Alas!"  they  cried,  "un- 
happy we!  O  tender  Father  of  our 
souls,  taken  forever  from  your 
daughters,  why  has  death  spared 
us  for  this  cruel  blow?  Our  poverty 
contented  us  and  we  counted  our- 
selves rich  when  we  could  hear  you 
preach  to  us  the  Gospel  of  the  Lord." 

Then  one  of  the  nuns  sought  to 
console  the  others  in  these  words: 
"Why  shed  useless  tears?  It  is  not 
the  dead  we  are  bewailing,  but  an 
immortal,  the  companion  of  angels, 
an  inhabitant  of  heaven.  A  great 
consolation  will  flow  for  us  out  of 
this  painful  separation  if  we  can 
keep  him  here  amongst  us — a  joy 


142       The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

we  could  not  have  whilst  he  lived." 
The  Poor  Clares  sent  a  deputation 
to  the  magistrates  and  nobles  of 
Padua,  beseeching  them  to  lend 
their  influence  to  the  end  that  the 
body  of  Anthony  might  be  retained 
in  their  convent.  The  friars,  imme- 
diately upon  learning  of  his  death, 
hastened  to  Arcella  with  the  in- 
tention of  removing  the  remains  at 
once  to  their  monastery  of  Santa 
Maria.  "  It  was  his  wish,"  they  said, 
in  proof  of  their  right  to  possess 
the  body.  And  so  it  was  his  wish; 
yet  the  people  of  Capodiponte,  where 
Arcella  was  situated,  openly  sided 
with  the  Poor  Clares,  and  resolved 
that  the  Friars  Minor  should  not 
carry  away  with  them  the  blessed 
remains.  The  friars  appealed  to  the 
bishop,  who  decided  in  their  favor; 
but  when  the  enthusiastic  Paduans 
went  forth  to  bring  away  the  body, 
they  were  met  by  the  armed 
partisans  of  the  Poor  Clares,  and 
bloodshed  seemed  imminent  and 
inevitable. 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua       143 

At  length  the  bishop  persuaded 
the  combatants  to  declare  a  truce 
until  the  provincial — who  was  absent 
at  the  time,  and  had  been  sent  for — 
should  return.  Still  this  did  not 
suffice.  That  very  night,  while  the 
friars  at  the  hospice  of  the  Poor 
Clares  were  watching  beside  the 
dead  behind  barricaded  doors,  the 
excited  populace,  eager  to  get  a 
view  of  the  body,  if  not  to  carry 
it  away  with  them,  threw  down  the 
barricades  and  rushed  in  to  drive 
away  the  watchers.  On  the  instant 
they  were  struck  blind,  and  trans- 
fixed as  if  turned  to  stone. 

At  daybreak  the  multitude  as- 
sembled to  look  upon  the  body  of 
Anthony  and  to  touch  it.  Miracles 
were  wrought  then  and  there;  while 
from  time  to  time  arose  a  wail  from 
the  people,  who  cried  with  one  voice: 
"Whither  have  you  gone,  loving 
Father  of  Padua?  Have  you  really 
gone  away,  and  left  behind  the 
children  who  repented  and  were 
born  again  to  Christ  through  you? 


144       The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

Where  shall  we  find  another  to 
preach  to  us  orphans  with  such 
patience  and  charity?" 

Owing  to  the  non-arrival  of  the 
provincial,  Brother  Leo  Valvasari, 
a  very  wise  and  prudent  man— later 
Archbishop  of  Milan, — went  out  to 
calm  the  passions  of  the  ever- 
increasing  throngs.  Addressing  the 
men  of  Arcella,  he  said: 

-  "My  brothers,  there  can  be  no 
question  of  justice  as  regards  your 
claim;  but  if  you  wish  to  retain 
the  body  of  Father  Anthony,  asking 
it  as  a  favor,  I  and  my  brethren 
will  consult  as  to  what  seems  to 
be  the  will  of  God.  Meanwhile  I 
gladly  give  you  permission  to  watch 
the  place  where  our  holy  Father 
Anthony  lies,  in  order  that  you  may 
not  distrust  us." 

A  body  of  armed  men  was  sent 
from  Padua  to  protect  the  convent 
of  the  Poor  Clares,  and  an  order 
issued  that  any  one  molesting  the 
friars,  or  found  carrying  weapons 


The  Wonder-Worker  of  Padua      145 

at  Arcella,  should  be  fined  a  hundred 
pounds  of  silver. 

When  the  bishop  held  court  a 
few  days  later,  he  summoned  the 
Friars  Minor,  as  well  as  the  repre- 
sentatives of  Capodiponte,  in  order 
that  he  might  hear  and  judge  both 
sides  of  the  question.  It  was  now 
the  belated  provincial  who  arose 
and  said: 

"  Justice  is  a  holy  thing,  and 
must  never  be  made  the  sport  of 
passion.  Love  and  attachment  are 
praiseworthy,  but  they  must  give 
way  to  justice.  This  present  affair 
has  been  conducted  with  blind  pas- 
sion rather  than  according  to  the 
rules  of  justice.  Who  can  doubt 
that  Brother  Anthony  belonged  to 
us?  You  all  witnessed  his  arrival 
at  Santa  Maria;  how  he  went  in 
and  out  amongst  us;  how  if  he 
went  on  a  journey  it  was  to  us  he 
returned.  A  month  ago  he  left  us; 
but  only,  as  he  himself  said,  to  come 
back  in  a  short  time,  and  then 
to  remain  with  us  altogether.  I, 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

therefore,  who,  although  unworthy, 
govern  this  province,  declare  frankly 
Brother  Anthony  belongs  to  us,  as 
he  himself  wished.  We  do  not 
demand  this ;  but  we,  in  all  humility, 
ask  the  venerated  chief  pastor,  the 
honorable  council,  and  the  faithful 
people  of  Padua,  to  grant  our 
petition." 

The  petition  was  granted:  the 
Sisters  of  Arcella  graciously  resigned 
their  claim;  peace  was  restored; 
and  on  the  i8th  of  June,  1231— 
five  days  after  his  death — the  body 
of  Anthony  was  solemnly  conveyed 
from  the  convent  of  the  Poor  Clares 
to  the  Church  of  Santa  Maria,  in 
Padua.  It  was  a  triumphal  proces- 
sion, participated  in  by  the  bishop, 
the  clergy,  the  members  of  the 
University,  the  civil  authorities,  and 
vast  throngs  of  the  inhabitants. 
The  noblest  of  the  Padovani  in 
turn  carried  the  bier;  a  myriad 
flaming  candles  borne  after  it  were 
as  a  wake  of  fire.  Pontifical  Mass 
was  celebrated  by  the  bishop;  and, 


The  Wonder-Worker  of  Padua      '147 

after  the  customary  rites,  the  body 
was  laid  in  a  marble  sarcophagus 
supported  by  four  columns.  From 
this  shrine  a  flood  of  miraculous 
power  issued.  The  blind  saw,  the 
deaf  heard,  the  maimed  walked,  and 
the  sick  were  healed.  Even  those 
who  could  not  enter  the  church  for 
the  throngs  that  filled  it  to  suffoca- 
tion were  cured  in  the  presence  of 
the  multitudes  without. 

Toward  the  end  of  his  life,  by 
reason  of  his  prolonged  vigils,  his 
continuous  fasting,  his  arduous  and 
unceasing  labors,  Anthony's  form 
was  wasted,  his  face  haggard,  his  skin 
like  drawn  parchment;  he  was  en- 
feebled to  the  verge  of  decrepitude. 
Those  who  looked  upon  his  body 
after  death  found  it  restored  to  the 
incomparable  beauty  of  youth.  The 
smile  of  infancy  played  upon  those 
fair  features;  a  delicate  flush  suf- 
fused them;  the  limbs  were  once 
more  softly  rounded,  and  were  pliable 
to  the  very  last,  as  if  he  were  but 
dreaming  a  sweet  dream  of  rest. 


14-8       The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

There  he  lay,  wrapped  in  the  inno- 
cent slumber  of  a  child,  fragrant  as 
a  dew-drenched  rose — a  very  lily  of 
purity  plucked  in  its  perfect  prime. 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua       149 


XXI. 

THE   SORROWS   OF   ANTHONY. 

How  can  a  saint  be  sorrowful? 
Should  not  his  sanctity  alone  be 
sufficient  to  fill  him  with  inexpressi- 
ble joy?  He  can  sorrow  for  the  sins 
of  others,  though  he  himself  is  sin- 
less. Anthony  no  doubt  did  this 
again  and  again,  and  yet  again.  He 
can  despise  himself  and  his  works, 
they  both  fall  so  far  short  of  his 
ideal;  and  surely  this  is  sorrow 
enough  for  one  soul  to  suffer.  An- 
thony sorrowed  in  like  manner;  but 
I  believe  this  was  not  his  chief 
sorrow.  The  source  of  his  sorrow 
lay  elsewhere. 

In  looking  back  through  the  brief 
history  of  his  career,  we  find  that, 
in  a  certain  sense,  Anthony's  life 
was  a  series  of  disappointments,— 


150       The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

was,  in  fact,  one  long  disappoint- 
ment from  beginning  to  end.  He 
did  not  pride  himself  upon  his 
noble  blood.  He  despised  the  riches 
that  were  in  store  for  him  and 
turned  from  them  with  contempt. 
He  took  no  pleasure  in  the  pastimes 
of  his  playmates.  He  sought  only 
solitude;  for  his  soul  was  ever 
solitary,  and  would  fain  fly  away 
into  the  wilderness  and  there  make 
its  home. 

Having  found  a  solitude  which 
seemed  suitable  in  all  respects,  his 
spiritual  tranquillity  was  disturbed 
by  the  advent  of  the  friars  who 
were  even  then  far  on  the  royal 
road  to  martyrdom.  Then  solitude 
lost  its  charms;  he  also  yearned 
for  the  baptism  of  blood — the  blessed 
pangs,  the  purifying  flames,  and  the 
martyr's  glorious  palm.  Yet  these 
were  not  for  him.  At  the  very 
threshold  of  the  arena,  where  torture 
and  cruel  death  awaited  their  inno- 
cent victims,  he  was  denied  ad- 
mittance and  laid  low  with  a  fever 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua      151 

that  compelled  his  reluctant  retreat. 
Here  was  sorrow  upon  sorrow;  for 
he  had  been  thus  rudely  awakened 
from  the  loftiest  dream  of  his  life. 

Again  his  heart  sought  retirement, 
and,  like  the  stricken  deer,  fled  from 
the  herd  in  anguish  and  dismay. 
The  world  he  loathed  with  a 
righteous  loathing;  and  to  escape 
from  it  he  feigned  a  simplicity  of 
mind  that,  had  it  been  genuine, 
must  have  unfitted  him  for  almost 
every  walk  in  life.  Through  this 
innocent  ruse  he  was  once  more 
enabled  to  taste  the  sweets  of  soli- 
tude. There  he  enriched  himself 
with  those  spiritual  riches  which 
he  was  anon  to  scatter  broadcast 
through  the  world. 

Not  long  could  he  hide  his  light 
under  a  bushel,  let  him  try  never 
so  hard.  The  breadth  and  beauty 
of  his  mind,  the  loving  kindness  of 
his  heart,  the  splendor  of  his  talents, 
the  wisdom  of  his  judgment,  the 
depth  of  his  penetration,  the  pro- 
fundity of  his  speculations,  and  the 


1 52       The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

luminous  exposition  of  every  theme 
he  touched  upon,  finally  swept  him 
into  the  very  vortex  of  political  and 
religious  contention. 

This  was  the  end  of  all  his  cher- 
ished hopes  and  fond  aspirations. 
Real  solitude  he  could  never  again 
know,  save  at  long  intervals  and 
for  a  little  moment;  and  even  then 
he  must  have  accused  himself  of 
leaving  worldly  duties  unperformed 
for  the  holier  and  purer  joy  of 
silence  and  seclusion. 

But  sorrow's  crown  of  sorrow 
awaited  him.  Finding  himself  sud- 
denly called  to  his  reward,  with 
but  a  few  hours  between  him  and 
the  grave,  his  one  desire  was  to 
reach  the  city  he  had  chosen  for 
his  own  and  the  monastery  of  his 
brother  friars,  where  he  had  hoped 
to  end  his  days.  Within  sight  of 
the  gates  of  that  city,  within  sound 
of  the  monastery  bell,  he  was 
stricken  down  to  death;  and  for  a 
time  it  seemed  as  if  his  dust  would 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua       153 

not  be  permitted  to  lie  within  the 
sanctuary  of  his  adoption. 

Therefore  I  say  that  the  sorrows 
of  Anthony  were,  in  a  certain 
sense,  continuous  and  unceasing, — 
that  his  life  was  one  long  sorrow. 
He  bore  this  grievous  burden  meekly 
and  in  silence,  with  never  a  murmur 
of  complaint.  We  have  not  learned 
from  his  lips  or  his  pen  a  single 
syllable  of  his  sufferings,  mental, 
spiritual,  or  physical;  but  we  know 
full  well  that  he  was  a  man  of 
sorrows  and  acquainted  with  grief. 


J54       The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 


XXII. 

THE   JOYS   OF   ANTHONY. 

SORROW  is  for  a  night;  joy  cometh 
with  the  morning;  and  joys  are 
the  more  joyful  by  reason  of  the 
sorrows  that  have  preceded  them. 
Life  without  contrasts  is  like  a 
picture  without  light  and  shade— 
a  blank.  Such  a  life  is  not  worth 
the  living. 

A  poet  has  remarked:  "The  joy 
of  love  is  loving."  This  is  doubtless 
true,  and  this  was  Anthony's  chief 
joy:  he  loved  his  fellowmen  even 
when  he  sought  to  shun  them.  It 
was  his  nature  to  love,  even  as  it 
was  his  nature  to  seek  retirement, 
and  to  strive,  perhaps,  to  forget 
the  object  of  his  love;  for  his  love 
for  God  was  the  ruling  passion  of 
his  life.  As  he  loved  all,  so  he  won 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua       155 

the  love  of  all — even  the  love  of 
his  enemies,  who  straightway  became 
his  faithful  followers. 

Out  of  the  abundance  of  his  love 
he  worked  his  wonders.  Like  a 
good  husbandman,  he  went  to  and 
fro  sowing  peace  in  the  field  of 
dissension.  At  his  approach,  bring- 
ing with  him  as  he  did  an  atmosphere 
that  penetrated  the  hardest  heart 
and  softened  it,  he  attuned  long- 
standing discords;  he  harmonized 
the  inharmonious  home  circle. 

To  the  wife  fleeing  from  the  wrath 
of  an  enraged  and  unreasonable 
husband,  he  said:  "Return  to  your 
own  home  in  peace."  And  when 
she  had  come  to  her  own  house,  a 
kindly  welcome  awaited  her.  To 
the  infant  whose  lips  had  not  yet 
framed  a  syllable,  and  whose  father 
had  unjustly  accused  his  wife  of 
infidelity,  Anthony  said :  "My  child, 
I  adjure  thee,  in  the  name  of  the 
Infant  God  of  the  Manger,  to  declare 
publicly,  in  clear  and  positive  terms, 

to  whom  thou  owest  thy  exist ence." 
11 


/5<5       The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

The  child,  in  the  arms  of  its  mother, 
turned  toward  the  accuser  and  pro- 
nounced distinctly  these  three  words : 
"Behold  my  father!"  Then  An- 
thony, taking  the  babe  and  placing 
it  in  the  arms  of  the  husband,  said: 
"  Love  this  child  for  it  is  indeed  your 
own.  Love  also  your  wife,  who  has 
been  proved  to  be  faithful,  devoted, 
and  worthy  of  your  affection." 

What  a  sermon,  in  a  few  words,  on 
true  and  false  love,  he  preached  at 
the  funeral  of  the  Florentine  notable ! 
Anthony's  text  was:  "Where  thy 
treasure  is  there  thy  heart  is  also." 
Pausing  suddenly,  he  beheld  in  a 
vision  the  soul  of  that  rich  man  in 
torment.  He  exclaimed:  "This  rich 
man  is  dead  and  his  soul  is  in  tor- 
ture! Go  open  his  coffers  and  you 
will  find  his  heart."  The  astonished 
relatives  and  friends  hastened  to 
do  his  bidding;  and  there,  half 
buried  among  the  gold  pieces,  they 
found  the  still  palpitating  heart  of 
the  dead  Croesus. 

It  was  Anthony's  fearless  joy  to 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua       157 

bring  a  misguided  bishop  to  re- 
pentance. He  must  have  been  con- 
scious of  his  power  to  impart  health 
to  the  sick,  and  even  to  breathe 
life  into  the  marble  lips  of  the 
dead.  Daily — nay,  almost  hourly — 
he  brought  peace  to  the  heart  that 
was  troubled;  he  dried  the  tears 
of  the  mourner,  and  planted  hope 
in  the  bosom  of  despair.  These 
were  the  joys  that  must  have  visited 
him  daily — yea,  even  hourly;  for 
daily  and  hourly  was  he  scattering 
benedictions  broadcast,  even  as  the 
rain  from  heaven  that  falleth  alike 
upon  the  just  and  the  unjust. 

And  so  he  passed  away  from 
sorrows  that  were  ended,  and  from 
earthly  joys  to  the  joys  of  heaven,— 
the  joys  that  are  without  beginning 
and  without  end.  He  passed  away 
beloved  and  bewailed  by  peoples 
and  by  nations,  whose  hearts  he 
had  touched  as  they  had  never  yet 
been  touched;  whose  consciences  he 
had  pricked  until  they  had  goaded 
their  possessors  into  new  paths, 


j 58       The  Wonder-Worker  of  Padua 

where  they  learned  to  lead  nobler 
and  braver  lives;  whose  souls  he 
had  quickened  and  gathered  into 
the  fold,  and  saved  forever  and 
forever. 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua       159 


XXIII. 

THE   GLORIES   OF   ANTHONY. 

NUMBERLESS  are  the  glories  of  An- 
thony, and  they  are  ever  increasing 
from  age  to  age.  Pope  Gregory  IX., 
who  called  him  "the  Ark  of  both 
Testaments  and  the  storehouse  of 
the  Sacred  Scriptures,"  longed  to 
honor  him.  Under  his  teaching  and 
preaching  numberless  heretics  had 
been  converted,  rebellious  cities  had 
been  reconciled,  and  the  miracles 
which  were  being  constantly  wrought 
through  his  instrumentality  had 
created  astonishing  fervor  through- 
out the  land;  therefore  it  was  the 
wish  of  his  Holiness  to  attach 
Anthony  to  the  Papal  court  and 
invest  him  with  the  purple.  The 
gentle  Franciscan,  remembering  the 
replies  of  St.  Dominic  and  St.  Francis 


160       The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

on  a  like  occasion,  in  1217,  made 
answer  in  the  words  of  the  founder 
of  his  Order.  "My  Lord,"  said  the 
Seraphic  Father,  "my  children  are 
called  Friars  Minor  because  they 
hold  the  lowest  rank  in  the  Church. 
This  is  their  post  of  honor.  Beware 
of  taking  it  from  them  under  the 
pretext  of  raising  them  higher. " 
So  Anthony  was  permitted  to  return 
into  the  solitude  of  God,  and  this 
was  one  of  his  glories. 

It  was  a  glorious  privilege  An- 
thony enjoyed  when  he  was  per- 
mitted to  fly  to  the  rescue  of  his 
father,  who  was  in  dire  distress. 
That  father — Don  Martino — was  still 
a  resident  of  Lisbon,  still  basking 
in  the  favor  of  the  King  and  holding 
high  office  in  the  court.  One  day 
a  young  nobleman  coming  from  the 
cathedral  was  seized  and  murdered 
by  assassins,  who  threw  the  body 
into  the  garden  of  Don  Martino, 
which  was  close  at  hand.  Don 
Martino  was  arrested  on  suspicion 
and  cast  into  prison. 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua       161 

To  Anthony  the  fate  of  his  father 
was  miraculously  revealed.  Having 
perfect  faith  in  his  innocence,  and 
desiring  to  go  at  once  to  his  rescue, 
Anthony  asked  leave  of  the  superior 
of  the  convent  of  Arcella  to  absent 
himself  from  Padua  for  a  little  time. 
He  was  himself  Provincial,  and  not 
obliged  to  ask  leave  of  the  Father 
Guardian;  but  he  never  forgot  the 
exercise  of  humility,  for  he  was 
meekness  itself.  Having  obtained 
leave  of  absence,  he  began  his  weary 
journey,  scarcely  knowing  when  or 
how  he  was  to  reach  its  end,  or 
whether  he  should  arrive  in  time  to 
rescue  his  father  from  impending 
peril.  Filled  with  hope  and  perfect 
trust,  suddenly  he  found  himself 
miraculously  transported  to  Lisbon. 
The  trial  was  in  progress.  Anthony 
at  once  entered  the  courts;  and, 
presenting  himself  before  the  judges, 
who  were  struck  dumb  with  amaze- 
ment, he  begged  leave  to  speak  in 
defence  of  Don  Martino.  He  de- 
clared his  father  innocent.  Where 


1 62       The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

were  his  proofs?  Anthony  replied: 
"The  murdered  man  shall  bear 
witness  as  to  the  truth  of  my 
testimony." 

Anthony  led  the  way  to  the 
victim's  grave,  followed  by  the  won- 
dering judges  and  the  excited  popu- 
lace. He  commanded  that  the  grave 
be  opened;  and  when  it  was  opened 
and  the  body  was  uncovered,  An- 
thony, addressing  the  dead  man, 
charged  him,  in  the  name  of  God 
to  say  whether  Martino  de  Bouillon 
was  his  murderer.  Rising  in  his 
grave-clothes  to  a  sitting  posture, 
resting  upon  one  hand  while  the 
other  was  raised  to  heaven,  the  dead 
declared  in  a  loud  voice  that  Martino 
de  Bouillon  was  guiltless.  Then, 
turning  to  Anthony,  he  begged  ab- 
solution from  an  excommunication 
under  which  he  labored;  and,  when 
his  prayer  was  answered,  he  sank 
back  into  his  coffin,  a  corpse  again. 
Then  the  bewildered  judges  begged 
the  Saint  to  reveal  the  name  of  the 
murderer,  and  he  replied:  "I  come 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua       165 

to  clear  the  innocent,  not  to  denounce 
the  guilty."  When  Anthony  re- 
appeared at  Arcella,  he  had  been 
absent  two  nights  and  a  single  day. 
On  another  occasion  Don  Martino, 
who  had  the  management  of  a  con- 
siderable portion  of  the  royal  ex- 
chequer, delivered  a  large  sum  of 
money  into  the  hands  of  his  subor- 
dinates, who  neglected  to  give  him 
a  receipt  for  it.  Some  months  later, 
when  about  to  render  his  accounts 
he  remembered  that  he  had  no 
receipt  for  certain  monies  delivered; 
and  when  he  asked  for  one,  those  who 
had  received  the  sum  denied  all 
knowledge  of  the  transaction.  It 
was  a  plot  of  his  enemies  to  ruin 
him.  While  he  was  standing  before 
his  audacious  accusers,  in  despair 
of  proving  his  case,  Anthony  ap- 
peared at  his  side;  and,  naming  to 
his  accusers  the  exact  hour  and  the 
very  place  when  and  where  they  had 
received  the  money,  even  describ- 
ing the  different  coins  in  which  it 
had  been  paid,  he  demanded  that 


1 6 4       The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

a  full  receipt  be  at  once  rendered 
to  his  father;  and  as  soon  as  it 
was  done  he  disappeared.  This  is 
one  of  several  instances  of  biloca- 
tion  in  the  miraculous  history  of 
Anthony. 

He  knew  the  minds  and  the 
hearts  of  all,  and  spoke  to  many 
at  a  distance,  calling  them  by 
name — he  had  perhaps  never  met 
them  face  to  face.  At  his  word  they 
were  converted,  and  returned  to 
the  Holy  Sacraments.  Said  Pope 
Gregory  IX.  six  hundred  years  ago: 
"The  supernatural  which  blossoms 
from  the  tombs  of  the  elect  is  a 
continuous  proclamation  of  truth; 
for  by  this  means  God  confounds 
the  malice  of  heretics,  confirms  the 
truth  of  Catholic  dogma,  renews  the 
faith  that  is  on  the  point  of  being 
extinguished,  leads  back  Christians 
who  have  erred — nay,  even  Jews 
and  pagans — to  the  feet  of  Him 
who  is  the  Way,  the  Truth^  and  the 
Life." 

The  famous  book  of  the  Bollan- 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua       165 

dists  contains  nearly  thirty  folio 
pages  filled  with  the  record  of  pure 
miracles.  Azevedo  devotes  an  entire 
book  of  four  chapters  to  some  of 
the  miracles  of  Anthony  selected 
by  the  Bollandists  as  most  authen- 
tic. Under  the  head  of  "  Death, " 
among  the  classified  miracles,  Aze- 
vedo names  a  dozen  cases;  in  each 
case  the  dead  was  brought  to  life. 
Under  the  head  of  ' '  Error "  he 
notes  numerous  miraculous  conver- 
sions, among  them  a  Lutheran,  a 
Calvinist,  a  Turkish  lady,  and  an 
Indian  prince.  Under  the  title  of 
"  Calamity  "  are  stories  of  miraculous 
relief  brought  to  many  and  various 
persons.  Those  condemned  to  death 
were  delivered,  the  imprisoned  were 
set  free,  and  all  manner  of  diseases 
were  healed. 

It  is  a  pretty  story  told  of  a  child 
whose  mother  seeing  it  fall  from  a 
high  window,  cried  to  Anthony  for 
help.  When  the  distracted  mother 
rushed  to  seek  her  boy,  he  ran 
smiling  to  her  and  said:  "A  friar 


1 66       The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

caught  me  in  his  arms  and  placed 
me  gently  on  the  ground/'  The 
mother  took  her  child  to  the  old 
Franciscan  church  of  Ara  Cceli,  in 
Rome,  to  return  thanks;  and  as 
they  entered  it  the  little  fellow, 
pointing  to  a  picture,  said:  "See! — 
there  is  the  friar  who  saved  me!" 
The  friar  was  St.  Anthony  of  Padua. 
A  poor  leper  was  being  carried 
to  the  shrine  of  Anthony  when  he 
was  met  by  a  heartless  soldier  who 
scoffingly  saluted  him:  "Whither 
art  thou  going,  wretch?  May  thy 
leprosy  come  upon  myself  if  St. 
Anthony  succeeds  in  curing  thee!" 
The  leper  went  his  way;  and,  while 
praying  fervently,  the  Saint  ap- 
peared to  him  and  said:  "Arise! 
Thou  art  whole.  But  seek  out  the 
soldier  who  mocked  thee  and  give 
him  the  clappers;  for  leprosy  is 
already  devouring  him."  (The  clap- 
pers were  an  instrument  of  warning 
which  all  lepers  were  obliged  to 
carry  about  with  them  when  in 
the  streets,  that  people  might  avoid 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua      167 

infection.)  He  who  was  a  leper  but 
a  few  moments  before  found  the 
soldier  in  a  wretched  plight.  The 
soldier,  in  his  turn,  repented;  and, 
calling  upon  the  Saint,  he  was 
straightway  healed. 

Many  were  the  wells  he  blessed, 
and  the  waters  thereof  cured  fevers 
from  that  hour.  Indeed,  so  wide  is 
the  range  of  his  miracles  that  one 
may  call  on  him  in  any  strait. 

Perhaps  the  tenderest  devotion 
of  all  he  has  awakened  in  the 
guileless  heart  of  maidenhood.  At 
his  feet  she  lays  her  heart,  and  asks 
of  him  guidance  in  the  choice  of 
its  protector.  Trusting  him,  through 
him  she  would  trust  his  choice  for 
her;  and  thus  repose  in  perfect 
confidence  upon  the  bosom  of  one 
whose  lot  in  life  she  has  been  sought 
to  share  in  a  union  so  dear,  so 
delicate,  so  devotional,  it  seems 
indeed  under  the  immediate  patron- 
age of  the  most  loyal  and  lovable 
of  saints. 

Anthony    spent    the    first    fifteen 


1 68       The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

years  of  his  brief  life  in  his  paternal 
home;  two  years  at  St.  Vincent's 
the  monastery  of  the  Canons  Regular 
of  St.  Augustine,  near  Lisbon;  nine 
years  at  Santa  Cruz,  in  Coimbra; 
and  about  ten  and  a  half  years  in 
the  Order  of  the  Friars  Minor.  He 
then  passed  away.  So  prodigious 
were  the  wonders  worked  at  his 
tomb  and  through  his  intercession, 
within  six  months  after  Anthony's 
death  the  bishop  of  Padua  petitioned 
the  Holy  See  to  confer  on  the  wonder- 
worker the  honor  of  canonization. 
The  preliminary  judicial  inquiries 
were  instituted  without  delay;  and, 
by  an  exception  almost  unparalleled 
in  history,  before  the  year  was 
ended,  on  Whit-Sunday,  May  30, 
1232,  the  Sovereign  Pontiff  Gregory 
IX.,  then  at  Spoleto,  solemnly  pro- 
nounced the  decree  of  canonization. 
In  it  he  says: 

"Having  ourselves  witnessed  the 
wonderful  and  holy  life  of  blessed 
Anthony,  the  great  wonder-worker 
of  the  universal  Church,  and  unwill- 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua       169 

ing  to  withhold  the  honor  due  on 
earth  from  one  whom  Heaven  itself 
has  surrounded  with  glory,  we,  in 
virtue  of  the  plenitude  of  our  apos- 
tolic authority,  after  having  duly 
consulted  our  brethren  the  cardinals, 
deem  it  expedient  to  inscribe  him 
in  the  calendar  of  saints." 

Indescribable  rejoicing  followed 
the  announcement  that  Anthony 
had  been  declared  a  saint.  His 
mother  and  his  two  sisters,  who 
survived  him,  enjoyed  the  extraor- 
dinary privilege  of  witnessing  the 
festivities  given  in  honor  of  the 
Saint.  Every  city  that  had  known 
him  in  the  flesh  now  especially 
honored  him ;  every  house  or  hospice 
or  haunt  that  he  had  visited  became 
hallowed  in  the  eyes  of  his  followers 
and  a  place  of  pious  pilgrimage. 
At  Brive,  in  the  south  of  France, 
pilgrimages  were  twice  interrupted 
and  for  a  long  time  discontinued. 
In  1565  the  Calvinists  were  the  cause 
of  this  interruption,  and  in  1793  the 
Revolutionists.  But  in  1874  Mon- 


i  jo       The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

signer  Berteaux  re-established  the 
devotion;  the  sons  of  St.  Francis 
again  took  possession  of  the  hill 
sanctified  by  the  prayers  of  the 
wonder-worker;  and  the  Bishop  of 
Tulle,  on  August  3,  1874,  when 
the  Franciscans  were  reinstated,  re- 
marked on  that  joyful  occasion: 

"  To-day  I,  the  Bishop  of  this 
diocese,  in  the  name  of  the  Church, 
take  possession  again  of  this  vener- 
able sanctuary,  this  celestial  hill.  .  .  . 
This  spot  has  heard  the  ardent  sighs 
of  an  impassioned  lover  of  Christ, — 
the  mighty  orator  who  drew  his 
mystic  lore  from  the  Sacred  Scrip- 
tures and  deserved  to  be  styled  by 
Gregory  IX.  'the  Ark  of  the  Testa- 
ment.' His  commentaries  on  the 
divine  pages  may  be  likened  to  a 
golden  harp  sending  forth  magnifi- 
cent harmonies  to  the  glory  of  the 
Word  Incarnate.  The  Child  Jesus 
Himself  touched  his  lips  and  his 
fingers,  that  they  might  pour  forth 
golden  words.  This  inspired  preacher 
of  the  word  of  God,  whom  we  call 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

Anthony  of  Padua,  has  trodden 
these  valleys  and  plains,  has  prayed 
and  watched  in  this  lonely  cave, 
has  slaked  his  thirst  in  this  clear 
water  which  is  a  reflection  of  the 
purity  of  his  soul.  To-day  I  bid 
you  welcome,  sons  of  St.  Francis, 
to  this  spot,  once  inhabited  by  your 
brother,  the  great  wonder-worker. 
Proclaim  Christ  wheresoever  you 
go;  ...  and  in  all  your  strivings 
imitate  your  holy  brother  in  St. 
Francis,  the  great  St.  Anthony  of 
Padua." 

Brive  is  annually  the  resort  of 
thousands  of  pilgrims;  and  not 
Brive  only  and  the  valley  of  the 
Correze:  everywhere  and  under 
many  forms  St.  Anthony  is  ven- 
erated. At  Vaucluse  and  elsewhere 
it  has  been  the  custom  to  invoke 
St.  Anthony  in  order  to  insure  a 
plentiful  harvest.  In  a  breviary  of 
the  fourteenth  century  belenging  to 
the  diocese  of  Apt  we  find  the  follow- 
ing form  of  blessing, — it  is  the  bless- 
ing of  the  seed-grain: 


12 


172       The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

" Bless,  O  Lord!  this  seed;  and, 
through  the  merits  of  our  blessed 
father  St.  Anthony,  deign  to  mul- 
tiply it,  and  cause  it  to  bring  forth 
fruit  a  hundredfold;  and  preserve 
it  from  lightning  and  tempest.  Who 
livest  and  reignest  world  without 
end.  Amen." 

In  the  same  volume  is  found  the 
following  prayer  used  when  a  bless- 
ing was  invoked  upon  a  child;  and 
a  measure  of  corn — the  weight  of 
the  child — was  distributed  among 
the  poor: 

"We  humbly  beseech  Thy  clem- 
ency, O  Lord  Jesus  Christ!  through 
the  merits  and  prayers  of  our  most 
glorious  father  St.  Anthony,  that 
Thou  wouldst  deign  to  preserve 
from  all  ill — fits,  plague,  epidemic, 
fever  and  mortality -- this  Thy 
servant,  who,  in  Thy  name  and  in 
honor  of  our  blessed  father  St. 
Anthony,  we  place  in  this  balance 
with  wheat,  the  weight  of  his  body, 
for  the  comfort  of  the  poor  sick 
who  suffer  in  this  hospital.  Deign 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padva       173 

to  give  him  length  of  days,  and 
permit  him  to  attain  the  evening 
of  life;  and,  by  the  merits  and 
prayers  of  the  Saint  we  invoke, 
grant  him  a  portion  in  Thy  holy 
and  eternal  inheritance,  guarding 
and  preserving  him  from  all  his 
enemies.  Who  livest  and  reignest 
with  the  Father  and  the  Holy  Ghost 
world  without  end.  Amen/' 


J74       The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 


XXIV. 

AN   UNFADING   MEMORY. 

FROM  the  very  first,  confraternities 
in  honor  of  St.  Anthony  have  existed 
in  many  parts  of  the  world.  With 
the  revival  of  the  spirit  of  Catholic 
devotion,  the  love  for  St.  Anthony 
increased.  His  blessed  name  had 
ever  been  associated  with  the  relief 
of  tte  wants  of  the  poor;  and  a 
favorite  form  of  charity,  in  his  name, 
has  been  the  liberal  bestowal  of 
loaves  among  the  hungry  and  im- 
poverished. This  bread  has  come 
to  be  known  as  the  bread  of  St. 
Anthony. 

Says  a  good  woman,  writing  as 
late  as  1892,  from  Toulon: 

11 1  promised  bread  to  St.  Anthony 
for  his  poor  if  he  would  help  me, 
and  he  has  helped  me.  All  my 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua       175 

friends  pray  with  me  to  the  good 
Saint,  and  all  our  troubles  are  com- 
mended to  him  with  a  promise  of 
bread  to  his  poor.  We  are  astonished 
at  the  graces  thus  obtained.  One 
of  my  most  intimate  friends  prom- 
ised a  certain  amount  of  bread  every 
day  of  her  life  if  a  member  of  her 
family  could  be  cured  of  a  fault 
that  had  caused  her  great  grief  for 
three  and  twenty  years,  and  the 
prayer  was  granted.  In  thanks- 
giving she  bought  a  little  statue  of 
St.  Anthony,  and  we  put  it  up  in 
a  dark  corner  where  we  require  a 
big  lamp  to  see  it.  And  now  my 
backshop  is  filled  all  day  with  people 
in  fervent  prayer.  Not  only  do  they 
pray,  but  one  would  think  that 
they  were  paid  to  spread  this  devo- 
tion, so  zealously  do  they  do  so. 
Sometimes  a  soldier,  an  officer,  a 
sea-captain,  going  for  a  long  voyage, 
will  promise  so  much  per  month  in 
bread  to  St.  Anthony  if  they  make 
their  journey  safely.  Sometimes  it 
is  a  mother  asking  for  the  health 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

of  her  sick  child,  or  perhaps  for 
the  success  of  an  examination.  Then, 
again,  it  is  a  family  asking  for  the 
conversion  of  one  amongst  them 
who  is  dying  and  will  not  see  a 
priest;  a  servant  out  of  a  place,  or 
working  people  out  of  work;  and 
all  these  petitions,  which  are  accom- 
panied with  the  promise  of  bread, 
are  granted/' 

The  Universal  Association  of  St. 
Anthony  of  Padua,  founded  by  Don 
Locatilli  at  the  request  and  with 
the  blessing  of  Pope  Leo  XIII.,  has 
been  established  at  Padua.  It  now 
numbers  nearly  260,000  members. 
The  Pious  Union — a  similar  organ- 
ization— is  flourishing  in  Rome.  Here 
and  there  in  England  and  Ireland, 
chiefly  in  convents,  the  bread-givers 
have  given  freely  in  St.  Anthony's 
name. 

There  is  a  humble  little  Franciscan 
monastery  church  at  Crawley,  Sus- 
sex, England.  Within  that  church 
is  a  chapel  which  for  a  long  time 
was  not  dedicated  to  any  special 


The  Wonder-Worker  of  Padua      177 

object.  Recently  a  remarkably  fine 
portrait  of  St.  Anthony  was  dis- 
covered at  Crawley;  it  was  placed 
in  the  unoccupied  chapel,  and  the 
chapel  was  dedicated  to  the  Saint. 
Thus  was  established  the  Guild  of 
St.  Anthony;  its  object,  the  pro- 
motion of  devotion  to  St.  Anthony 
and  to  propagate  the  work  of  the 
distribution  of  his  Bread  to  the 
Poor.  ''Masses  and  other  spiritual 
advantages  are  given  to  its  members, 
who  are  placed  under  no  other 
obligation  than  the  entering  of  their 
names  in  the  register  kept  for  that 
purpose  at  Crawley."  The  alms, 
or  the  bread  promised  in  the  name 
of  St.  Anthony,  can  be  given  wher- 
ever the  donor  pleases.  Any  reader 
who  is  interested  in  this  beautiful 
charity  can  learn  full  particulars  by 
applying — in  person  or  through  the 
mails — to  the  Rev.  Father  Guardian, 
O.  S.  F.  C.,  Franciscan  Monastery, 
Crawley,  Sussex,  England. 

When   faith   has   been   at   a   low 
ebb  devotion  to  our  Saint  has  not 


IT '8       The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

dwindled.  At  Auges,  where  there 
is  a  very  precious  relic  of  St.  An- 
thony, the  inhabitants  have  been 
ever  loyal  to  a  man.  A  hard- 
working peasant  is  reported  to  have 
said  to  his  son,  with  more  enthu- 
siasm than  judgment:  "You  may 
work  on  Sundays  and  you  may 
work  on  holydays — even  Christmas 
and  Easter — if  you  must;  but  if 
you  are  so  wicked  as  to  work  on 
St.  Anthony's  Day  I  will  hang  you 
from  the  highest  gable  of  the  house/' 
The  body  of  St.  Anthony  was 
brought  into  Padua  on  Tuesday. 
It  is  a  well-attested  fact  that  no 
single  sufferer  who  invoked  his  aid 
on  that  day  failed  to  be  cured.  In 
1617  a  lady  of  Bologna,  who  in 
her  distress  had  appealed  to  St. 
Anthony,  saw  in  a  dream  his  like- 
ness. The  Saint  opened  his  lips 
and  said:  "Go  on  nine  consecutive 
Tuesdays  and  visit  the  chapel  of 
the  Friars  Minor ;  there  receive  Holy 
Communion,  and  thy  prayers  shall 
be  granted."  And  it  was  as  he 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua       179 

had  promised  her.  This  miracle  gave 
rise  to  the  devotion  of  the  Nine 
Tuesdays  in  honor  of  St.  Anthony; 
later  it  was  increased  to  thirteen, 
in  honor  of  the  date  of  his  death. 

For  more  than  thirty  years  the 
body  of  the  Saint  remained  in  its 
marble  shrine  in  the  Church  of 
Santa  Maria  Maggiore;  but  the 
friars  and  the  people  were  not 
content,  and  in  1263  it  was  trans- 
lated by  St.  Bona venture  to  the 
high  altar  of  a  new  church  built 
by  the  Friars  Minor  in  his  honor. 
On  opening  the  shrine  at  this  time, 
it  was  found  that  the  body  had 
returned  to  dust,  but  the  tongue 
was  incorrupt  and  of  a  natural 
color.  St.  Bonaventure  exclaimed 
in  a  transport  of  devotion:  "O 
blessed  tongue,  which  always  didst 
bless  the  Lord  and  cause  others  to 
bless  Him,  now  does  it  appear  plainly 
how  highly  thou  wert  esteemed  by 
God!"' 

In  1310  his  body  was  again 
translated  to  a  chapel  which  had 


180       The  Wonder-Worker  of  Padua 

been  built  expressly  for  it.  This 
chapel  did  not  satisfy  the  devotion 
of  the  friars;  and  still  another, 
far  more  commodious  and  splendid, 
was  erected,  and  thither  the  remains 
were  translated  in  1350.  Many  relics 
had  been  scattered  among  churches 
in  various  parts  of  Europe;  and 
these  were,  as  far  as  possible, 
.gathered  together,  and  in  1745  they 
were  all  solemnly  deposited  in  the 
magnificent  receptacle  where  they 
are  now  venerated. 

In  1749  the  church  was  nearly 
destroyed  by  fire,  yet  the  altar  of 
the  Saint  was  quite  uninjured.  While 
the  flames  were  raging  fiercely, 
crowds  of  people  were  seen  climbing 
upon  the  sagging  roof  and  hurrying 
through  the  building  in  the  midst 
of  smoke  and  falling  timbers;  and, 
though  many  fell  among  the  glow- 
ing coals  and  were  struck  by  flying 
firebrands,  no  one  was  injured. 

The  church  and  the  chapel  are 
among  the  richest  and  most  beauti- 
ful in  the  world,  and  these  alone  are 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua       181 

sufficient  to  attract  thousands  annu- 
ally to  Padua.  His  is  the  ruling 
spirit  there;  one  thinks  only  of 
him.  Often  a  hideous  little  carving 
of  bone  or  wood  or  metal  is  offered 
you  for  a  mere  trifle ;  and  his  medals, 
his  photographs,  copies  of  portraits 
of  surpassing  loveliness,  are  for  sale 
on  every  street  corner.  Within  that 
shrine  what  splendor  delights  the 
eye!  All  that  can  be  done  with 
marble  and  bronze,  and  silver  and 
gold  and  precious  stones  has  been 
superbly  done  in  the  ornamentation 
of  that  wondrous  mausoleum. 

Three  sunburnt  fishermen  were 
kneeling  with  their  foreheads  resting 
on  the  sculptured  marble  of  the 
tomb  when  I  last  drew  near  it.  Is 
not  good  San  Antonio  the  protector 
of  all  seafarers?  Do  not  fair  winds 
come  through  his  intercession?  Are 
not  his  medals  and  statuettes  worn 
by  devout  Christian  sailors  the  wide 
seas  over? 

Having  spent  hours  of  rare  refresh- 
ment in  that  glorious  temple,  and 


182       The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

gathered  my  little  store  of  pious 
objects,  I  returned  to  mine  inn  for 
rest.  From  the  windows  I  saw  the 
lofty  walls  of  II  Santo — the  Basilica 
of  San  Antonio — towering  against 
the  sunset.  There  is  nothing  finer 
than  the  proportions  of  this  wondrous 
structure.  Larger  than  San  Marco 
at  Venice,  it  is  far  more  impressive 
when  viewed  from  without.  There 
are  a  hundred  gables  that  toss  like 
a  broken  sea.  Clusters  of  delicate 
spires  spring  into  space  like  frozen 
fountains;  and  over  all  rise  seven 
splendid  domes  that  seem  to  be 
floating  in  mid-air.  One  almost  fears 
that  the  whole  will  melt  away  in 
the  twilight,  and  leave  only  the 
spot  that  it  once  glorified — like  an 
Arabian  tale  that  is  told.  Surely 
its  creation  was  magical.  Some 
genie,  sporting  with  the  elements, 
made  marble  soluble;  and,  dreaming 
of  the  fabulous  East,  he  blew  this 
pyramid  of  gigantic  bubbles,  and 
had  not  the  heart  to  let  them  break 
and  vanish.  Or  is  it  but  another 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua      183 

miracle  of  the  beloved  Saint? 
St.  Anthony  of  Padua  has  been 
hailed  as  the  Eminent  Doctor,  the 
defender  of  the  Divinity  of  the  In- 
carnate Word,  and  the  vindicator 
of  the  Real  Presence.  He  was  also 
the  champion  and  the  apostle  of 
the  glorious  mystery  of  Mary's  As- 
sumption, as  the  Patriarch  of  Assisi 
had  been  of  her  Immaculate  Con- 
ception. It  was  St.  Anthony  who 
uttered  the  versicle  incorporated  in 
her  Office  on  the  Assumption :  "The 
august  Mother  of  God  has  been 
assumed  into  heaven  and  placed 
above  the  angelic  choirs."  What 
proof  had  he  of  this?  Our  Blessed 
Lady  appeared  to  him;  with  his 
eyes  he  saw  her  in  her  glory;  with 
enraptured  ears  he  listened  to  her 
voice  celestial  as  she  said:  "Be 
assured,  my  son,  that  this  my  body, 
which  has  been  the  living  ark  of  the 
Word  Incarnate,  has  been  preserved 
from  the  corruption  of  the  grave. 
Be  equally  assured  that,  three  days 
after  my  death,  it  was  carried  upon 


184.       The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua 

the  wings  of  angels  to  the  right 
hand  of  the  Son  of  God,  where  I 
reign  Queen. " 

Therefore,  with  a  heart  filled  with 
indescribable  joy,  he  exclaimed: 
"The  Virgin  of  Nazareth  has,  by  a 
singular  privilege,  been  preserved 
from  the  original  stain  and  filled 
with  a  plenitude  of  grace.  Hail, 
O  Mother  of  God,  city  of  refuge, 
sublime  mountain,  throne  of  the 
Most  High,  fruitful  vine  yielding 
golden  grapes,  flooding  the  hearts 
of  men  with  the  holy  exaltation  of 
pure  love!  Hail,  Star  of  the  Sea! 
Thy  gentle  and  radiant  light  is  our 
guide  in  the  darkness,  showing  us 
the  entrance  to  the  harbor  above. 
Woe  to  the  pilot  whose  eyes  are 
not  fixed  on  thee!  His  frail  bark 
will  become  the  plaything  of  the 
storm,  and  will  be  swallowed  up 
in  the  foaming  billows." 

The  glowing  tributes  which  have 
been  paid  to  St.  Anthony  of  Padua 
would  fill  volumes,  yet  the  noblest 
tribute  of  all  is  the  silent  but  ardent 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua       183 

love  his  millions  of  followers  have 
given  him.  Nothing  need  be  added 
to  this,  yet  I  will  add  what  St. 
Bonaventure  said:  that  St.  Anthony 
was  "an  angelic  soul,"  and  that  his 
crown  of  glory  was  enriched  with 
all  the  gems  of  grace  and  perfec- 
tion distributed  amongst  the  other 
saints.  "He  possessed  the  science 
of  the  angels,  the  faith  of  the 
patriarchs,  the  foreknowledge  of  the 
prophets,  the  zeal  of  the  apostles, 
the  purity  of  virgins,  the  austerities 
of  confessors,  and  the  heroism  of 
martyrs. " 

St.  Antoninus,  the  illustrious  Arch- 
bishop of  Florence,  says  of  St.  An- 
thony :  "He  was  a  vessel  of  election, 
an  eagle  in  knowledge,  a  wonder- 
worker beyond  compare."  And  the 
Franciscan  Liturgy  adds:  "A  violet 
of  humility,  a  lily  of  chastity,  a 
rose  of  divine  charity."  He  was  the 
ardent  advocate,  the  favorite  and 
the  champion  of  the  Sacred  Heart. 
Three  centuries  after  his  death  the 
Venerable  Jane  Mary  of  the  Cross 


186       The  Wonder-Worker  of  Padua 

describes  the  following  vision  with 
which  she  was  blessed: 

"While  in  prayer  on  the  Feast 
of  St.  Anthony,  I  saw  the  soul  of 
this  Saint  borne  by  angels  to  the 
feet  of  Christ.  Our  Lord  opened 
wide  the  wound  of  His  Heart;  and 
this  Heart,  all  radiant  with  light, 
attracted  and  seemed,  in  some  sort, 
to  absorb  the  soul  of  St.  Anthony, 
as  the  light  of  the  sun  absorbs  all 
other  light.  In  the  Heart  of  Jesus 
the  soul  of  the  Saint  appeared  to 
me  like  a  precious  gem  of  radiating 
brilliancy,  which  filled  all  the  cavity. 
The  varied  play  of  its  colors  repre- 
sented to  me  the  virtues  of  the 
Saint.  They  shone  with  marvellous 
splendor  in  the  ocean  of  light  pro- 
ceeding from  the  Heart  of  Jesus, 
to  the  honor  of  Christ  and  the  glory 
of  the  Saint  himself.  Then  Jesus 
took  this  lustrous  gem  in  His  Heart 
and  presented  it  to  His  Heavenly 
Father,  who  caused  it  to  be  admired 
by  the  angels  and  saints." 


The  Wonder -Worker  of  Padua      i8j 

"When  you  hear  that  I  am  a 
saint,  then  bless  ye  the  Lord."  These 
words,  that  fell  from  the  lips  of  the 
youthful  Anthony  when  he  first 
went  in  search  of  martyrdom,  were 
not  addressed  to  his  brethren  at 
the  Abbey  of  Santa  Cruz  alone :  they 
are  as  fresh  and  as  appealing  now 
as  they  ever  were;  they  are  alive 
and  shall  always  remain  alive;  and 
to-day — now — this  very  hour — they 
are  addressed  to  me  and  to  you,  and 
to  everyone  that  lives  or  shall  live 
in  ages  to  come,  even  unto  the  end 
of  the  world. 

"Bless  ye  the  Lord!" 


LIFE  OF  THE  CURE  OF  ARS 

BY    KATHLEEN    O'MEARA 

THE  AvE  MARIA  Press,  which  has  done  so 
much  for  Catholic  literature  and  truth,  has  ren- 
dered conspicuous  service  to  the  good  cause  in 
publishing  this  volume.  Readers  of  "Iza's 
Story,"  "Narka,"  etc.,  will  expect  a  rare  treat 
when  they  see  Kathleen  O'Meara's  name,  and 
they  will  not  be  disappointed.  In  limpid, 
pleasant  style  she  tells  the  story  of  this  wonder- 
ful life,  and  we  would  recommend  it  to  all, 
especially  to  those  weak-kneed  believers  who 
are  fond  of  concealing  those  supernatural  aspects 
of  their  religion  at  which  the  world  is  so  much 
inclined  to  scoff. — Catholic  Magazine,  (South 
Africa.) 

A  more  beautiful  story  than  Kathleen 
O'Meara's  "Life  of  the  Cure  of  Ars"  would  be 
hard  to  find.  It  is  what  might  be  called  an 
English  life,  that  is,  utterly  free  from  the  pietism 
which  for  Americans  so  often  disfigures  the 
true  life  of  a  saint  in  the  hands  of  French  and 
Italian  writers.  It  is  not  that  our  ideals  of  the 
saint  are  different,  but  that  for  the  most  part 
the  saints  have  suffered  from  inferior  biographers. 
With  these  people  the  fasts,  lashings,  humilia- 
tions of  the  saint,  are  more  than  his  life.  The 
means  is  made  the  end  for  the  sake  of  descrip- 
tion, or  to  cover  up  the  deficiencies  of  the 
biographer. — Donahoe's  Magazine. 

1 2  wo.,    cloth,    $i. 
THE  AVE  MARIA,  Notre  Dame,  Indiana 


A     TROUBLED     HEART,     AND     HOW     IT 
WAS  COMFORTED  AT  LAST. 


This  is  a  very  entertaining  volume  of  auto- 
biography. In  it  the  author  tells  the  story  of  that 
portion  of  his  life  during  which  he  had  been 
troubled  at  heart,  and  tortured  by  religious 
doubt.  His  description  of  the  various  mental 
states  through  which  he  passed,  of  the  different 
sects  of  which  he  had  experience,  of  their 
worship  and  usages,  is  most  interesting  and 
entertaining.  The  author  brings  to  his  task  a 
very  correct  and  graceful  English  style,  and 
shows  in  many  passages  of  his  book  that  he  is 
gifted  with  descriptive  powers  of  a  very  high 
order.  This  work  can  be  read  both  with  pleasure 
and  profit. — The  Irish  Ecclesiastical  Record. 

"A  Troubled  Heart,  and  How  It  was  Com- 
forted at  Last,"  is  the  title  of  a  remarkably 
well-written  account  of  the  conversion  of  a 
Protestant  to  the  Roman  Catholic  Church.  It 
is  the  soul  experience  of  one  who  longed  for 
something  more  vivid  and  tangible  than  the 
Protestant  service  gave  him,  and  who  found  it 
in  the  impressive  ritual  of  the  Roman  Church. 
Many  passages  of  the  book  glow  with  suppressed 
feeling,  and  are  eloquent  with  a  fervor  which 
comes  straight  from  the  heart.  However  he 
may  differ  from  the  author,  no  reader  can  fail 
to  respect  his  evident  sincerity  and  his  literary 
gifts. — Sunday  Chronicle,  (San  Francisco.) 


i6mo.,  cloth,  75  cts. 
THE  AVE  MARIA,  Notre  Dame,  Indiana 


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